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Published November 03 2012

Forum editorial: Vote ‘no’ on Minn.measures

Minnesotans will decide the fate of two constitutional amendments on the Tuesday ballot. Both deserve a “no” vote.

The so-called marriage amendment would, its sponsors contend, enshrine in the Minnesota Constitution the traditional structure of marriage as between one man and one woman. Opponents counter that the state already has barred gay marriage in state law, and the matter should not be part of the state constitution.

Whether one endorses same-sex marriage or not, a prohibition should not be part of the constitution. A matter as profound, complicated and nuanced as same-sex marriage is a societal question that requires more, not less, public and legislative discussion. A constitutional amendment would, in effect, close down the debate.

Society’s view of marriage and same-sex relationships is changing, which mandates that society’s representatives in the Legislature should continue to vigorously and honestly talk about it.

Vote “no” on the marriage amendment.

The voter ID constitutional amendment is so replete with a potential nightmare of litigation and other problems that it should be soundly rejected.

The basic idea of ensuring voter identification at the polls is a good one. Many states do it effectively and relatively inexpensively. The Minnesota measure, which is primarily the work of out-of-state interests, would create a legal labyrinth that would cost the state and local governments millions of dollars, and in some areas, primarily rural, suppress the vote.

Furthermore, the amendment as written is overkill. Minnesota elections are not cesspools of fraud. Indeed, purposeful fraud is so rare it’s not a factor in election outcomes.

Vote “no” on the voter ID amendment.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.