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Four reasons we will vote YES for the Marriage Amendment

Like many Minnesotans, we have struggled with how to vote on the proposed Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment. Many well-intentioned people suggest that it is an equal rights issue. However, there are many compelling reasons to vote YES and maintain the millennia-old definition of "natural marriage" as one man and one woman.

We are now convinced it is completely fair, non-discriminatory and appropriate to vote YES.

Marriage is not simply a private relationship between two people. Rather, it is the fundamental social institution of civilization, and it provides society with the very foundation of civilization - the procreating family unit. The United States Supreme Court has declared that marriage is "fundamental to the very existence and survival of the [human] race."

Same-sex marriage does not provide benefits to children, family or society. It merely validates sex partners.

No Minnesotan is denied the "right" to marriage. However, the law already prohibits the "behaviors" of polygamy, marriage to an under-age person and marriage to someone already married. In these three cases, the government is regulating the "behavior" of marriage because to not do so would have a profoundly detrimental impact on families and individuals.

According to CNN, 39 states do not permit same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment or statute. Congress passed the "Defense of Marriage Act" in 1996, defining marriage as one man and one woman. Current polls show that the majority of Minnesotans and Americans do not support same-sex marriages. Only six states recognize same-sex marriages, and it was either the legislatures or judicial system that made the decision, not the voters of the states.

Also, scholars from some of the nation's most respected law schools have written that the issue implicates a host of other issues, ranging from religious liberty, to individual expression of faith, to education and the professions. For example, these legal scholars predict "a sea of change in American law" and foretell an "immense" volume of litigation against individuals, small businesses and religious organizations. If marriage is redefined to be genderless, and people and groups do not accept it, they will be in conflict with the law and subject to legal consequences."

For voters who are confused by the arguments, we hope you will give serious consideration to the reasons we have provided. From our perspective, this is not a justice or equal rights issue. Therefore, we respectfully ask you to vote YES for the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment on Nov. 6.

Paul Anderson and Onni Sharp Anderson