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Open Forum: Ballot question a bad idea

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

I’ve read a lot of letters in this column recently from people who are happy about gay marriage being put on the 2012 ballot. Even some of my own friends think this is a sensible idea — just let the voters decide.  What’s wrong with that?

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So for anyone out there who doesn’t understand; here’s what’s wrong with that.

It is completely un-American to put the rights of a minority up for public vote by the majority. If you approach rights this way, then the majority will always keep rights from the minority because they’re voting only based on their personal opinion. If we had put interracial marriage up for public voting in the 50’s, it surely would have been outlawed. Why? Because the majority thought it was wrong and went against the Bible, and they had the majority, therefore winning the argument.

For all the bad press “activist judges” seem to get these days, there’s a point to having a judiciary, and that is to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Judges are supposed to make unpopular decisions, because their job is not to reflect the will of the people, but the will of the law and the constitution.  

I have no dog in this fight. I’m not gay, and I’m already married. Gay marriage would not affect me one way or another. However, I know that it will affect many Minnesota families in a very poignant way, and it will affect many children already living in caring, two-parent, same-sex households instead of foster care.

Even if you somehow illogically think that sexuality is a “choice,” shouldn’t that choice be protected anyway? After all, nothing is more of a choice than religion, and we seem to protect that right pretty fiercely.

Amy LaValle Hansmann

Brainerd

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