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Letter to the Editor: For the children

For the sake of the children, I urge all Minnesotans to vote "yes" for the "Marriage Protection Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution," when it appears on the state ballot Nov. 6.

It is a widespread moral instinct found through 10,000 years of recorded human history that children are best served by a mother and a father who are male and female. This widespread moral instinct always wins at the ballot box but has at times been overturned by an elite minority of judges or legislatures who undermine the democratic process.

The benefits to children raised in a traditional marriage far surpass those offered by any other institution: higher education and economic levels are achieved and they are emotionally and physically healthier. Raised in traditional families they are less likely to be physically abused, commit crimes, be abusive themselves, be addicted to illegal substances, pregnant out of wedlock, members of gangs, and the societal benefits continue.

It is no secret that married men and women live longer compared to singles and some studies have shown that alternate lifestyles shorten life spans tragically by upwards of 20 years. Among heterosexual marriages, surveys have found 90 percent of women to be faithful and 75 percent of husbands. Certainly one wishes these numbers were higher. However, where the marriage is not heterosexual, monogamy rates are significantly lower. Surely these figures have bearing for the stability and future of any society and civilization.

There is legal precedent in our nation's history for what the Minnesota State Legislature is attempting to do in codifying the "Marriage Protection Amendment" in the state constitution through the ballot box. From 1845-1895 there was the Mormon polygamy controversy. For the sake of the children, the U.S. federal government did not grant Utah statehood for 40 years, until they changed their state constitution from espousing polygamy to codifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, as it is written now. The state of Arizona was admitted to the Union in 1912 when they, too, stated in their state constitution that marriage would be as it has traditionally affirmed through 10,000 years of human history. This was necessitated by the preponderance of Mormons in Arizona, as well.

Women with lesbian tendencies and men with homosexual leanings have equal rights just like anyone else. Should a woman with lesbian tendencies desire to marry a man she is free to do so and should a man with homosexual leanings choose to marry a woman he is free to do so. Equal rights exist for all people. But I resist any effort that seeks to change the definition of marriage or reconstruct it from what always has been between two people of the opposite sex.

In ancient Greece and Rome, homosexuality was widespread. Though widespread, these cultures never redefined the definition of marriage or restructured marriage from what it always has been.

In writing this article and expressing my views, I have no desire whatsoever of imposing my religious views on anyone in society. Marriage is no more a religious issue than laws against drunkenness, theft, or murder are religious issues. These laws are derived from and promoted by people based on a widespread moral instinct as they seek to develop a society which is best for all. Marriage and its definition is a function of the state and not the church. That is why clergy need to obtain a marriage license not from their church body, but from the state, i.e., the county courthouse.

When you vote on Nov. 6, you need to be aware of one thing: should you pass over, or choose to not vote on the "Marriage Amendment," Minnesota records this as a "no" vote. This makes it that much harder to arrive at the necessary 50 percent to pass the amendment.

The "Marriage Protection Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution," does not seek to outlaw or promote homosexual conduct. It simply seeks to affirm the historically accepted definition of marriage. What you legalize, you promote. To date, all 31 states that have voted on issues of marriage have voted to affirm traditional marriage. It is my hope that Minnesota will become the 32nd state; for the sake of the children.

Rev. Karl A. Weber

St. John's Lutheran Church, Ottertail, MN & St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Richville, MN