Staff Editorial: In Support of Marriage

By Mac Weekly Staff

As reported in this week’s article on the Rally to Defeat the Marriage Amendment, same-sex marriage has been outlawed in Minnesota for over 30 years. Even if the marriage amendment—which would enshrine the “one man, one woman” definition in our state’s constitution—is defeated on November’s ballots, our citizens will still not be free to marry the person of their choosing, and same-sex relationships will still be barred from society’s highest levels of legitimacy. Why, then, do we at The Mac Weekly feel it is so important that Macalester students do all they can to defeat this amendment? Jim Hoppe said at the rally that the amendment brought back “that teenage dread in the pit of my stomach” that he felt when coming out as a teenager in the 1980s. He fears that this amendment could “embolden people who otherwise remain silent” to discriminate more openly against him, his partner, or their children. This is why the marriage amendment matters. Though at times it may seem that issues of marriage rights, with their deep and obvious symbolism, overshadow other vital LGBT issues such as youth homelessness and job discrimination, it is precisely this symbolism that makes them so powerful. If “one man and one woman” becomes part of our constitution, it grants a strong sense of permanence and legitimacy to views that same-sex relationships are less worthy. It’s easy to see how this could harmfully deepen the LGBT community’s status as second-class citizens and lead to a more open culture of prejudice—and once an amendment passes, it’s very difficult to reverse. If we join together to reject the “product of fear” that is this amendment, Minnesota will be the first state to vote down a marriage ban on the ballot. Trends in national polls and demographic measures show us that history is on our side. In 50 years (or sooner), this vote will be either a relic of a more backwards past or the start of something powerful. The choice is ours. refresh –>