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Stash Hempeck, Hendrum, Minn., Published May 04 2012

Marriage measure a farce

Ken Sims’ April 28 opinion piece in The Forum about the constitutional amendment Republicans are forcing Minnesotans to vote on this fall seems, at first glance, to be a reasoned and logical approach to the subject, as opposed to the vitriolic diatribes most often seen in The Forum from proponents of this measure. But a closer inspection reveals it to be the same old story, dressed up in nicer words, that is in actuality as negative and misleading as its venomous cousins.

To begin with, his use of the term “special interest groups” is particularly egregious. What is the Republican Party, or any of the groups advocating for this amendment, but a crowd of people with a special interest?

What proof does he offer that “marriage is a special relationship reserved exclusively for heterosexual unions (to produce children)”? In other words, what makes heterosexual unions “special” and homosexual unions non-special? Only children? Is he referring here to the historical precedent of marriage existing for the primary – often sole – purpose of continuing a particular patriarchal lineage based on name and genetics?

Then his use of the line: “The overwhelming body of social science evidence ... married mother and father” is nothing but a broad over-generalization, rather than providing readers with specifics on this proof, i.e., books, research, website, etc. It further assumes that children from, for example, a non-married, long-term heterosexual couple will be at a disadvantage compared to those of a married heterosexual couple. And it completely ignores other factors, such as a married father or mother who drinks or beats his or her children, as opposed to an unmarried father or mother who doesn’t.

Sims’ charge that “Under a genderless ... marriage, ... children are secondary” is simply an extension of his baseless assumption that children need both a mother and father to end up being balanced, productive members of society – an assumption that conveniently ignores the reality that most unbalanced, unproductive members of society come from married, heterosexual-coupled homes, simply because of the fact that heterosexuals are the dominant sexual population.

In the end, though, he falls back on the old tired argument of “activist judges and politicians” who are destroying America. Why is it that people like Sims define such judges and politicians only as those who disagree with their point(s) of view? In other words, the Southern judge who insisted on displaying the Ten Commandments, in direct violation of existing U. S. law, was only exercising his individual freedom of expression, rather than engaging in an activist activity?

This attempt to define marriage is nothing but a thinly disguised act of discrimination by a group of people who realize the current tide of history is turning against them, and they are desperate to do whatever it takes to not only preserve their view as to what is the proper way to live one’s life but to project it upon others. I would urge all Minnesotans who believe in the concepts of equality and rights of the individual to vote a resounding “no” on this Republican activist farce when they enter the voting booth this fall.