Marriage amendment's split debateLast Tuesday, local radio call-in show, Open Line, provided a platform for discussion on the proposed marriage amendment and same-sex marriage in Minnesota. In November, Minnesota voters will be asked if they support amending the state’s constitution to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
By: Amy Chaffins, Alexandria Echo Press
Last Tuesday, local radio call-in show, Open Line, provided a platform for discussion on the proposed marriage amendment and same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
In November, Minnesota voters will be asked if they support amending the state’s constitution to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
Chuck Darrell, communications director for Minnesota For Marriage, joined 1490 AM Open Line co-hosts Dennis Anhalt and Patty Wicken on air and fielded calls from listeners.
Some callers’ comments supported the proposed amendment while others did not – but the common thread through all comments was strong opinions on the topic.
On a small scale, it was a snapshot of what’s likely to come over the months leading up to the November election – it seems people strongly support or strongly oppose the proposed definition as a union between one man and one woman.
“It’s the people of Minnesota that should decide the definition of marriage, not politicians and not judges,” Darrell said.
“[Marriage] provides a tremendous common good by channeling… enduring family relationships that are the best place for the ensuring, the education, the well-being and the bringing-up of our kids because kids need [a] mother and a father.
“What you have to do is take a look at the psychological, sociological and scientific evidence that continually points overwhelmingly to the fact that kids do best in an environment where they have both their biological mother and father. That’s not to say people who adopt or have blended families can’t do a good job of raising kids… The overwhelming evidence shows kids do best when they have both a mother and father and that’s one of the reasons why marriage between a man and a woman is so important.”
Several people who called in during the radio show agreed with Darrell’s point of view. One person said, “I agree that marriage is between a man and a woman – it always has been and always should be.”
Another caller said he was against the proposed amendment and posed these questions to Darrell: If an elderly couple falls in love and wants to get married, or a young couple chooses not to – or can’t – have children, should they still be allowed to marry? What is the difference if one of those couples is homosexual and the other is heterosexual?
“I don’t see how the impact is any different,” the caller said.
“You cannot take kids out of the debate,” Darrell said. “The kids are part of marriage whether people decide to have them or not.
“Here’s what marriage is: It’s man and woman, they have sex and it can create kids, those kids need a mom and a dad, in the past and going into the future,” Darrell said. “People [want] to throw kids out [of this debate], which to me is a sign of what we’ve done to marriage over the last 40 to 50 years. We’ve trashed [marriage] to the point where it’s got nothing to do with kids, it’s just about these two adults who love each other and we should be able to get married or not get married.”
In the U.S., 20 states allow same-sex marriage, have enacted marriage equivalent measures, or provide partial state spousal rights.
Darrell told listeners, “There’s nothing in the amendment that will change anything from the way it is now, so no one is losing any benefits, no laws are being changed; we’re simply taking the current definition of marriage that’s been in Minnesota before we were even a state and it’s simply putting that in our state’s constitution where it can’t be meddled with by politicians or judges.
“If it weren’t for children there’d really be no reason for government to be involved in licensing love between adults, except there are kids, they’re the next generation and they’re the most important investment we can be making,” Darrell said.