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Voting no

I plan on voting no to both constitutional amendments on the ballot in November.

Currently, it is illegal for same sex marriage to occur in Minnesota. It is my hope that someday new legislation will be enacted and it will become legal.

I see no merit for this amendment, except to impede that possibility. Some might offer a civil union as a compromise over marriage, but only marriage offers federal benefits and protections.

According to the GAO there are over 1,100 rights and protections afforded an individual upon marriage. The ‘institution’ of marriage does exist, but it is more than just benefits and protections. It is the ultimate expression of love and commitment between two people.

As for the voter identification amendment, it is simply not necessary to amend the Constitution. Thirty-four states have addressed the issue of voter identification, but only two have done it through constitutional change. If the people of Minnesota wish to regulate voter identification then let the legislative process proceed.

The 15th Amendment prohibits government from denying a citizen the ‘right to vote’ based on race or color. This amendment was ratified in 1870, but it was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that true implementation of the law began to take place. During that interim, Jim Crow laws were imposed to exclude people that were entitled to have the right to vote. The voter amendment, on the ballot this fall, is an attempt to deny voting rights in the guise of retaining voter integrity.

Both of these amendments should be voted down. They are both attempts to limit our constitutional rights. They would create further circumstances of social injustice when the world demands less.

Martin Luther King once stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Michael Erickson


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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