Editorial: Amendment is just a red herring

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trying to get the state to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is a waste of time and a diversion ploy.

Firstly, Minnesota already has a law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. An amendment would be superfluous.

Secondly, it is a fairly certain future that when the younger generations become older and take hold of the political reins, they will be accepting of same-sex marriage. Any constitutional amendment passed by the people of Minnesota today would simply be repealed by the people of Minnesota tomorrow. This nation always progresses eventually.

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Moreover, a constitutional amendment would require a statewide vote. No doubt it would be a political risk to put the question of same-sex marriage on the ballot, for the Republicans who favor an amendment might find voters either support redefining marriage or are satisfied with the present law in existence that defines marriage.

Look, the talk of amendment is simply a diversion issue. We urge voters to keep their eyes on the ball — the $5 million state budget gap. Republicans and Democrats are far away from each other on estimates. They aren’t even drawing figures from the same budget forecasts. It’s a complete mess in St. Paul.

Bringing up the proposal for amendment about same-sex marriage at this point in the legislative session is like someone pointing and saying, “Hey, look! Is that an airplane?” while they sneak your french fries.

You might have heard of such moves before. In high school and college classes for critical thinking and in political science, instructors define such distractive arguments as a “red herring tactic.”

Then no matter how they come out smelling after budget negotiations are finished, they can go campaign on a social issue such as gay marriage instead.

If the Republicans wanted to be serious about a marriage amendment, they should have brought it up in January or February.