Editorial: Lawmakers should make the laws

Published 9:28 am Monday, March 25, 2013

There have been calls for the state Legislature to allow Minnesotans statewide to vote on marriage for same-sex couples. There even have been newspaper editorials saying the same thing.

Disregard them.

The Minnesota Legislature needs to develop a backbone and make its own laws on state issues. Whether it is gay marriage, funding for environmental and cultural items, whether to require voter ID at voting polls, whether to require vehicle sales tax revenue to go toward public transit or what our state should do with lottery proceeds, our lawmakers far too often shirk their responsibility to make laws.

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We, the people, elect men and women to serve in the state House of Representatives and in the state Senate, and there it is their job to pass budgets and make laws. It is their job to be leaders.

Minnesotans already showed their approval for gay marriage last November by becoming the first state in the nation to vote down a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which already is illegal under state law.

Making the people of Minnesota go through yet another divisive political fight for an issue they already have suffered through and made a choice is needless — no matter what side of the issue of gay marriage people are on.

State lawmakers need to get feedback from constituents, then look within themselves and make a decision. It can be to keep gay marriage illegal or to make it legal. Minnesota has a legislature for the sake of making laws. The people elected to make these laws should see it as their job and their job alone to make these laws. Legislating by referendum is a cop out.

After all, why did voters elect the lawmakers in the first place if they simply kick the issues back to the voters?