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Published July 21 2013

Forum editorial: Same-sex ceremony wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Clay County judges Lisa Borgen and Michelle Lawson for agreeing to preside over a late-night marriage ceremony for gay couples. The Minnesota law allowing gay civil marriage takes effect Aug. 1. The courthouse will be open from 11:30 p.m. July 31 to 1 a.m. Aug. 1 for a mass civil ceremony. The judges will preside over the historic event. There is no requirement in law that the courthouse be opened at that hour for same-sex couple marriage ceremonies, but Clay County is going the extra mile. It’s a nice gesture that not only respects the new inclusiveness of the law but also reflects rapidly changing attitudes regarding same-sex marriage.

LEAFY SPURGE: To “leadership” (if that’s the right word) at the Spirit Lake Nation in northeast North Dakota. The latest chapter in a sad saga of child death and abuse – and a struggle for power – has left the people of the reservation without credible leaders. An election with a clear winner was tossed out by the tribal court. The tribal chairman who lost apparently still is chairman but apparently will not return to the job because if he does he will no longer represent his tribal council district. It’s a political mess of monumental and unnecessary complexity that confirms the abysmal dysfunction of Spirit Lake’s tribal government. Meanwhile, questions remain about the safety of children on the reservation.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To KVLY TV news anchor Stephanie Goetz and her Stephanie Goetz Foundation for its initial success, both in getting out an important message and signing on a new partner. She established the foundation to honor her late brother, who died by suicide in 2002 after battling depression. She aims to raise awareness that getting help for mental illness is essential. Her message has resonated in the community, and the foundation has grown. The new partner is the Dakota Medical Foundation, which will work as a consultant. The Goetz foundation and the medical foundation have had excellent initial success with the Giving Hearts Day. It’s all good news for a cause that can help countless individuals and families.

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