The first, published late Friday afternoon in west central Minnesota weekly owned by the ECM Publishers chain, announces that the editorial board of the chain, which publishes community papers from Caledonia in extreme southeastern Minnesota to Morrison County in west central Minnesota, has decided to recommend that their readers Vote ‘No’ on ill-considered marriage amendment.
Select excerpts from Little Falls' Morrison County Record:
Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, looks at his parents and sees their marriage as a testimony to love, commitment and responsibility. Their marriage, he says, is also a sign that the married couple will be in each other’s lives forever.
Carlbom, a gay man originally from North Branch, wonders why Minnesota is keeping him and his partner from having the same sense of security that his parents have.
The Editorial Board of ECM Publishers Inc. joins Carlbom, Minnesotans United for All Families and more than 500 organizations in opposing the proposed marriage amendment, which seeks to define marriage in our state constitution as a union between a man and a woman and would limit the freedom of same-sex couples to marry.
The key word here is freedom.
Passing the amendment would place limits in our constitution on the freedom of same-sex citizens. It would erect a barrier to continuing the discussion of same-sex marriage, for today’s voters and for future generations of Minnesotans who may want to reopen the debate.
Voters would, in fact, be making choices for those future generations. Voters would be telling many of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that marriage won’t be an option for them.
That’s not freedom, that’s oppression, and we are concerned what message that sends the world about our state. What kind of Minnesota do we want to present to the world? . . .
But at the end of the day, this isn’t a debate solely about marriage.
It’s a debate about law and governance, and we think it’s wrong that the question is on the ballot at all. A law is already on Minnesota’s books defining marriage as an act between a man and a woman. That means that today, without any amendment being approved or disapproved, Minnesota does not legally recognize or sanction same-sex marriages.
That will not change regardless of how Minnesotans vote on the marriage amendment. If the amendment fails, same-sex couples will still not be allowed to legally marry in Minnesota.
For these reasons we oppose the marriage amendment.
This opinion was approved by the ECM Editorial Board. The Record is part of ECM Publishers, Inc.
Go read the entire editorial. So far, the Morrison County papers seems to be the only publication in the chain to have published the editorial. Other ECM editorial pages ask readers to Editorial: Do your homework before voting this year, while noting:
Over the next few weeks, we will be presenting endorsement editorials on the amendments and the top federal offices. The ECM Editorial Board has been researching the issues and meeting the candidates in person. After research and deliberation, the board members have voted on the stances that will be presented in these editorials.
Our intent is to encourage you to think, so that you will make careful and intelligent choices when you enter the voting booth Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Given that the ECM papers are largely suburban and rural, this is a great development for those of us who want to defeat the amendments.
Thank you, Tim Walz.
Thank you for standing up for human rights in a divisive and politically sensitive time that rewards keeping your mouth shut, for seeing the need for your voice and raising it immediately, loudly, boldly.
Thank you for your decision to form Veterans United, to fight against the state constitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to only between a man and woman.
. . .Thank you for showing courage and conviction of character, the kind you’ve shown consistently ever since you were elected.
Thank you, Tim Walz.
Go read both editorials, and if you are so inclined, thank the editors for speaking out.
Finally, a letter in the Morrison County Record might strike a chord with those sharing voter fraud ghost stories, who see dead people on voter rolls. Reader Mark Nagel from Little Falls writes in Cemetery is no place for politics:
I am dismayed at the actions of St. Mary’s Church, owners of Calvary Cemetery, in granting the Knights of Columbus permission to display the “Vote Yes Marriage Amendment” sign on the cemetery’s south fence facing 13th Avenue Northeast. Calvary, “The French Cemetery,” where four generations of my family are buried, is a place of solace, reflection and respect and should continue to be treated as such for all people.
Opinions for or against the proposed Marriage Amendment bear no weight on this issue. What is of concern is turning the final resting place for relatives of hundreds of Little Falls families into a political billboard.
One must wonder as to what future socio-political issues, whether in or out of election years, may prompt the Knights of Columbus or other organizations to post signs on what I consider to be hallowed ground.
Sign ordinance or not, isn’t there somewhere other than a cemetery to express one’s opinion?
Really, KOC? It's come to that?
Update: A commenter on the letter notes that the sign is gone from the fence.
Bluestem hopes this shamelessness might cause people to take a second look. Here are two living Catholics who did and who will vote no:
Images: Vote No, from Minnesotans United for all Families (above); Little Falls marriage amendment supporters from 13th Avenue, image courtesy MN Majority.