Archived Story

Marriage amendment may pass, but arguments don’t hold up

Published 8:26am Monday, May 21, 2012 Updated 10:32am Monday, May 21, 2012

So we had some complaints about a story from last week about those representing Minnesotans for Marriage, in support of the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Essentially the complaints were that the article contained no “counterpoint,” that made the argument for voting no.

We hope that the article we ran Wednesday (Gay marriage advocates to hold fundraiser in FF) balanced our coverage.

It is important that our news coverage be balanced, giving both sides the opportunity to state their case.

My opinion regarding the amendment, howeer, does not. As I have written in this column before, I am absolutely opposed to the amendment. I listened carefully to the arguments the Minnesotans for Marriage representatives made, and believe they can be summed up as follows:

The majority of people are opposed to gay marriage. History shows that the majority at one time were in favor of slavery, the right of women to vote and “separate but equal.” A republic, and that’s what we are, is supposed to protect the rights of minorities and minority opinion.

The best families are ones with a mother and father, and that a two-parent family with two females or two males will be harmful to children. Of course, many gay couples already have children by one way or another, so the toothpaste is already out of that tube. And considering the number of screwed-up families right now without allowing gay marriage, it was hard for me not to crack up when they made that argument.

By allowing gay marriage, the government at the same time will require schools and other public institutions to promote the idea that gay marriage is OK, thus forcing a belief upon those who do not agree with it. In a country based on the separation of church and state, I find it difficult to believe that such a scenario would happen here.

You can couch it in any way you want, but the “definition of marriage” amendment does nothing other than limit the rights of our fellow residents.

That said, the “defining marriage” amendment has passed in essentially every state where the vote has been taken. People vote for it, I believe, out of fear and a lack of understanding. But they vote in favor of it. The majority of Minnesotans likely will vote in favor of it as well.

Those trying to justify the amendment are wasting their breath.


n n n


This year, I have decided to get out of the rat race.

Well, at least I’m going to avoid being in “race” mode while running in the rat race known as the Fargo Half Marathon.

Those who are familiar with running long-distance races and are in it to set personal records know the drill. You have a number in mind that would get you your personal best. You break it down into a per-mile pace, set up your handheld timing device (or write it on your arm) and then push like daylights during the race to make it.

That attitude has done me more harm than good in the past few races. Considering that my knees have been giving me trouble and limited my training, and it was supposed to be hot and windy Saturday, I decided I would ditch the watch, and just run.

Running is supposed to be fun right? I guess we’ll see what happens. You can check my time on the sports page if interested (unless I didn’t finish, which is certainly possible.)


Joel Myhre is The Journal’s publisher. E-mail him at

  • Swede

    “The majority of Minnesotans likely will vote in favor of it as well.

    Those trying to justify the amendment are wasting their breath.”

    According to your commentary Joel, those ranting to stop the Minnesota Marriage Amendment are wasting their breath.

  • BWD

    “A republic, and that’s what we are, is supposed to protect the rights of minorities and minority opinion.’ That is correct Joel.
    However, it does not mean that the Minority or Minority Opinion should rule the Majority either.
    You fall behind your usual semantics to really state no opinion of merit.

    • Walt Henry

      In a Republic an individual can ignore any law he/she doesn’t agree with. Not likely where I live.

  • camobabe

    You say that people in other states have passed definition of marriage referendums, “out of fear and a lack of understanding”. You’re both right and wrong.

    We fear becoming a Godless cesspool of depraved behavior, thus vote to protect our marriages and families.

    And, we don’t understand why anyone would try to force their depraved notions of what is right upon us.

    We feel a moral imperative to choose, and to teach our children to choose, between good and evil, between right and wrong, between true and false, and between the beautiful and the ugly in life. And, same sex marriage fails all those tests. It is bizarre for you to advocate for homosexual marriage because you know a few people who want this “right”, and if they are your friends, let them do as they choose.

    • BrendanJanssen

      “And, we don’t understand why anyone would try to force their depraved notions of what is right upon us.”

      Look in the mirror, Camilla. I suggest you try some new makeup.

  • J Mullins

    An old Latin principle ” ab usus non tollit usum” or abuse is not a valid argument against proper use. It is an argument repeated by people arguing that the abuse or misuse of , say, firearms, by a few people does not justify denying the use of firearms by all. Does somebody stabbing another person justify the government confiscating all the pocket knoves, kitchen knives, scissors, nail clippers?

    Here you reverse this logic, when you state that “considering the number of screwed-up families right now without allowing gay marriage, it was hard for me not to crack up when they made that argument”, (referring to the argument that the best environment to raise children is in an union of one man and one woman). You are trying to tell us that because some people are flawed or indifferent or weak as parents, we should toss out all the good families and make a radically differnt set of arrangements, namely, same sex marriages .

    Might as well repeal all motor vehicle laws while we are at it, as somebody is always going to be speeding, blowing through a stop sign, driving drunk. I mean, hey, if that’s what they want to do, who are we to deny them what they want. But, you would be well advised to not let you children out of the house and onto the front yard or sidewalk or to cross the street.

    I can honestly say that if homosexual marriage is allowed, at least twenty percent of parents will take their kids out of public schools to prevent them from having to be subjected to the harangues of politically correct teachers’ sermons extolling the joys of homosexuality and homosexual marriage. And, then what happens to the schools when they see the corresponding loss of per pupil funding? If you listen to all the wailing of the schools that they are already losing head count to home schooling families, you ain’t seen nothing until the schools can more openly advocate for same sex marriage and lifestyles.

    • Jake Krohn

      This line of thought regarding teachers and schools seems like a straw man argument to me. Why bring that into the mix?

  • Walt Henry

    According to a poll published 5/20/12 55% of likely Minnesota voters will vote against the amendment. The former CEO of Medtonic as well as Wheelock Whitney have just recently asked the business community to take a more active role in defeating this amendment. We’ll see.

    • Swede

      Is that a Mpls Star-Tribune poll?

      It appears the Strib is the only poll favoring opposition to the amendment.

      • Walt Henry

        Mike, you picked an interesting choice to challenge the new poll numbers I posted. The ONLY (it fails in 4 of the 5)survey you cite that shows enough support FOR the amendment is almost a year old to the day. It is the SurveyUSA poll from May 23-24, 2011, the same polling service that now predicts a 55% favorable ranking in their current May, 2012 poll.
        Remember it takes a 50% positive vote of all voters voting in the next elecion not just a majority of those voting on the marriage amendment. (Some polsters predict as many as 11% of voters won’t vote for or against the amendment) We’ll see:)

        • Swede

          Am I to assume you don’t want to provide the pollster’s name? I posted a link to a few polls, I did not state they are recent. I was asking for proof of your assertion.

          Is it 55% of gay couples that want to prevent passage of the marriage amendment?

          • Walt Henry

            Mike, are you trying to be funny? SurveyUSA The same pollsters who took the only survey you cited which last year suggested Minnesotans favor discrimination. (It’s the way the quesiton was asked, that’s why I answered as I did.)

          • Swede

            I am requesting that you provide a source for your allegation.
            The only recent SurveyUSA poll that I found (on the SurveyUSA website) was released 02/03/2012. 47% support the Marriage amendment, 39% against it.


          • Swede

            Gosh, Larry, is is not you who frequently proclaims, “Facts, math and an accurate understanding of history matter”? So much for that.

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