Via MiddleMinnesota (Views of a Moderate Pol)'s round-up of Outstate News headlines, Bluestem learns of more Greater Minnesota newspapers challenging the wisdom of the Republican legislative support of the marriage inequality amendment to the state constitution.
It's not just the editorial boards of papers like the Winona Daily News--which tends to be socially liberal--but conservative papers like the Fairmont Sentinel that are calling out the Republican majorities for fast-tracking the constitutional amendment through the state legislature.
The Sentinel weighs the question in Gay marriage issue is about clashing cultures:
Why is the state involved? Why does it have the final say on what constitutes "marriage"?and what does not? The answer lies in legal history and rights associated with property, inheritance, tax law, work benefits, etc. Marriage is like a permit into these benefits.
It's difficult to imagine how letting gay partners enjoy these rights causes real harm to any other member of society. Those other members still retain their rights. However, gay marriage - or triangular marriage, or polygamy - does represent a direct threat to the religious and cultural beliefs that tend to dominate our society. But we have to ask whether it is these specific beliefs or a tolerance for others' beliefs that underpins our free nation. [emphasis added]
Other papers are taking a stand as well.
Rich Glennie, editor of the McLeod County Chronicle, opposes putting same-sex marriage on the same footing as hetero marriage. He also opposes the amendment, he writes in Use constitutional amendment process only when necessary:
The Minnesota Legislature is playing a dangerous game with proposals for state constitutional amendments on the ballot in 2012. If Minnesotans are not careful we will be running down the same road with California and its endless supply of propositions and state plebiscites. With all these votes, who needs representative government? Let us become a pure democracy, put everything to the popular vote and then see what happens.
The Minnesota Constitution should not be used for political games. It should be amended only for compelling reasons that benefit the entire state, not just to further one party's political agenda...
. . .First of all, we happen to agree with the Republicans' intent. Gay marriage should not be on equal status with traditional marriage. We can live with statutes for same-sex arrangements to protect their legal rights, but we do not support stepping over that line.
We already have a same-sex marriage ban on the books. Republicans argue that "activist judges" have overturned state statutes on same-sex marriages in other states, and only a state constitutional amendment can stop such rulings. ...So instead of zeroing in on "bedroom issues" and photo IDs, legislators need to get at the real problem - the budget shortfall.
You are running out of time.
Add the objections to the New Prohibitionism by the New Ulm Journal, the Austin Herald's annoyance at the distraction from the budget with the marriage inequality amendment, the Albert Lea Tribune's indignation at the Red Herring amendment, and we're seeing real frustration, if not outright objections, to the distracting and costly, job-killing politics of this legislation.
Photo: So what if it's Adam and Steve buying those engraved invitations and that cake?