Sunday, November 04, 2012

I Am Voting "No!"

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If they support either of these amendments, they do not reflect my opinions.

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Here in Minnesota we have two ballot referenda for constitutional amendments. I am voting No! on both.

First is the marriage amendment to change the Minnesota constitution to limit the idea of "marriage" as between one man and one woman. It's main purpose is to keep gay marriage from becoming a reality. All the traditional reasons for the amendment have been passed around. Marriage is under attack, they say, and this is the way to protect it.  Don't ask me how that will happen. I have no idea. This will not stop domestic violence, probably the greatest threat to healthy marriages. It will not do anything but allow people to get married. How that harms marriage is beyond me. Don't get me started on the "Biblical" definitions of marriage- they didn't exist in any way, shape, or form as we understand the idea of marriage today. The legal and social problems faced by a gay couple are daunting. This will only make it worse.


The second referendum is to make government-issued photo IDs required for voting. It is very simple in my mind. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed (and renewed in 2006 for 25 years.) At the time, President Johnson said:
This law covers many pages, but the heart of the act is plain. Wherever, by clear and objective standards, States and counties are using regulations, or laws, or tests to deny the right to vote, then they will be struck down.
Voting is a right, not a privilege. We have come a long way since the colonial era when only white, property-owning men could vote. Thank God for that. Let's not step back almost 50 years to find some new-fangled, higher-tech way of denying people the right to vote. Voter fraud is so rare it would probably do as much good to pass a law against extra-terrestrials voting.

I feel very strongly about the freedoms we have. Any time we begin to find ways to restrict them, we are hurting ourselves and our future. I hope my fellow voters of Minnesota can see into the heart of these two issues and step away from the exclusionary attitude.

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