Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Northern Community Radio works with BSU's Mass Communications Department

In the next couple of week we'll be hearing from Mass Communication students from Valica Boudry's News Reporting Class.  This morning we had updates and information on the proposed constitutionals amendments that you'll see on your ballots as well as Bemidji city recall amendment.  Here's Marina Lang's report on the proposed marriage amendment to the MN Constitution.

Minnesotans who visit the polls this November will find themselves with a question regarding limiting marriage to opposite sex couples. It will be something along the lines of:

Recognition of marriage as solely between one man and one woman.

The options are yes or no.

If this amendment passes, it would be added to the Minnesota Constitution and would, for the time being, make it so that only the union of one man and one woman will be recognized as a marriage in Minnesota. This would be semi permanent prevention of same-sex couples from being legally married in the state of Minnesota, until a time when a federal decision was made, one way or another.

This amendment would give a definition to marriage in the State Constitution if it passes. People supporting this amendment hope for reinforcement of recognition of marriage as between opposite-sex couples. Some supporters believe that if marriage were not defined as between one man and one woman, historic meaning and value of marriage may be lost, and marriage may become a “meaningless political gesture, rather than a child-affirming social construct.” (

If this amendment fails, same-sex marriage does not become legal. Many people opposed to this amendment hope that marriage will not become defined as between one man and one woman so that there is opportunity to later vote for marriage to become legal between same-sex couples. In the long run, same-sex couples hope for rights that legally are only available to opposite-sex couples at this time, through marriage.(

There is always a long process before a proposed amendment is seen on a ballot- the Minnesota Legislature introduced bills proposing this same-sex marriage amendment and had it approved by both the Minnesota State Senate and State House.

If the amendment passes, Minnesota will have a definition of marriage in the State Constitution, which would make same-sex marriage impossible for now. If not passed, some believe the sanctity of the marriage institution is at stake. A lot of time went into getting this amendment on the ballot and whatever the results, many Minnesotans will be personally affected.

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