Supporters of the Marriage Amendment, including the group Minnesota for Marriage, predict catastrophic dangers for Minnesota if the Marriage Amendment fails to pass. The Amendment would define marriage only between one man and one woman. It would also make it a constitutional requirement to only recognize marriage between one man and one woman.
Supporters of the proposal argue that unless the measure passes marriage will be redefined for everyone, education will change, religious organizations will face legal trouble, individuals who oppose same-sex marriage will face legal trouble, poverty will increase, and marriage rates will decrease.
Is this future of Minnesota? Just next door, Iowa has allowed same-sex marriages since 2009. According to the CDC marriage rates and divorce rates have pretty much remained the same. In fact, the only measurable change has been economic. Same-sex unions have added millions of dollars to the Iowa economy. Between wedding arrangements and tourism it is estimated that same-sex marriage has contributed between $12-$20 million dollars to the state’s economy.
Several months after the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, the Des Moines Register polled Iowans on the issue. About 40 percent said they supported banning same-sex marriage. Another 40 percent were not in favor of a ban. Most importantly, 92% of Iowans stated that same-sex marriage had no impact on their lives.
This amendment doesn’t ban same-sex marriage. The state of Minnesota already prohibits same-sex marriage. The state also does not recognize same-sex marriages- including couples that were legally married in other states. This amendment doesn’t protect school curriculum from changing. This amendment doesn’t protect individual opinion regarding same-sex marriage or the LGBT community. Individuals can still publicly support or publicly oppose same-sex marriage.
Supporters of this amendment argue that it allows voters to decide the future of same-sex marriage in Minnesota. This amendment would not allow citizens to challenge current same-sex marriage laws through the court system. It would also not allow the issue to be decided through the legislative process. Most importantly, it would not allow voters to decide.
If this amendment passes, the only way to change it would be through another amendment repealing the first one. This can only occur every two years. Minnesota doesn’t allow citizens to petition to place an amendment on the ballot. In order to repeal this amendment a majority of the state house and senate would have to vote to put it on the ballot. This process only leaves the decision to voters if the legislature decides to give it to voters.
To read the amendments as they will appear on the ballot please check out the Minnesota Secretary of State's website: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=1719