To the editor:
The Marriage Amendment voters will consider on Nov. 6 preserves the historic and traditional definition of marriage as "the union of one man and one woman." Virtually every society in every nation, from ancient civilizations to current times has accepted this definition. Passage of the amendment ensures that the people of Minnesota themselves and not activist judges or politicians decide how our state will define marriage in the future.
If marriage is redefined, as has happened in six states, there would be profound consequences for religious organizations, individuals, small businesses and for society itself. If marriage is defined as a genderless institution those who disagree will be treated under the law like racists and bigots and punished for their beliefs. This has occurred in Boston and Washington D.C. where some charitable adoption agencies were forced to close because of adherence to their beliefs. Wedding professionals (photographers, resorts and restaurants) in three states have been sued, fined and harassed for refusing to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals risk their state licensure if they act on their belief that a same-sex couple cannot really be married. Refusal to accommodate and recognize same-sex marriages would be the equivalent of racial discrimination with the laws enforced by the government.
Of most concern to us as parents and grandparents is that whenever schools educate students about marriage they will have no choice but to teach this new genderless institution throughout the curriculum. In Massachusetts children from kindergarten on are taught about gay marriage in class. Because it is the law, courts have ruled that parents have no right to prior notice, or to opt their children out of such instruction. Is this what we want for our children and grandchildren?
While only 3 percent of American adults are involved in a same sex relationship, redefining marriage will shift the focus away from the best interests of children and society as a whole and result in profound long-term consequences. One only needs to look to Canada to see what societal changes have taken place since 2005, when genderless marriage became a law (see minnesotaformarriage.com)?
These are the reasons we are voting yes on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. Remember to not vote on the amendment will be counted as a no vote!
Dick and Sandy Tuszynski