The state House voted Wednesday on a proposal that would let voters decide if the Minnesota constitution should ban same-sex marriage. Hear excerpts from debate on bill to amend the constitution to define marriage.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
(00:00:05) Hey, good afternoon. Welcome back to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten as you heard on the news. The Minnesota house says minnesotans should have the opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment that would essentially bans same-sex marriages in Minnesota the proposed amendment which limits marriage or its legal equivalent to the union between one man and one woman passed the house yesterday by a two-to-one. Margin 88 242 all but three Republicans voted for the amendment all but 10 DF ehlers voted against the measure the proposed amendment now goes to the state senate where the measure faces what is expected to be much tougher opposition. However, if the proposed amendment does pass the state senate the proposed amendment would appear on this November's election ballot in, Minnesota. Same-sex marriage issue has generated passionate debate at the state capitol and during this our midday. We're going to hear some excerpts from yesterday's debate on the floor of the Minnesota house. You'll hear from both supporters and opponents of the amendment to begin representative Mary Liz Holberg a republican from Lakeville and the author of the proposed Constitutional Amendment Banning same-sex marriage in the state (00:01:17) in November at last year. The Massachusetts state supreme court issued a ruling forcing or directing the Massachusetts legislature to approve a same-sex marriage contract with in the state of Massachusetts and gave them a hundred and eighty days. Consequently, May 17th, which is also the day we're supposed to adjourn. We are expecting that the state of Massachusetts. In fact, we'll have valid marriage licenses for same-sex couples. So what does that mean? Well, since that ruling we have seen a number of actions in various States and the city of San Francisco around 4,000 marriage licenses have been issued before the courts there put a stop to that action. In fact from news reports. We know that people from 46 different states have obtained marriage licenses in the city of San Francisco since that time Portland, New Mexico and New York have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And in fact, Oregon is still doing so as a result of these actions 22 states are of had to defend their definition of marriage nor Carolina being the most recent the language put what we are putting before you today and we hope to put before the voters in November does not take away any rights in the state of Minnesota right now. There is no ability to have same-sex marriage marriage, but rather what this Constitutional Amendment would do it. It would add Clarity the current state law and protect it from the judicial activism that we have seen in Massachusetts members the people of Minnesota want to vote on this issue. Currently the we have four states that have Constitutional Amendments and in fact the state of Hawaii nearly a same incident occurred in Hawaii where there was judicial action, the legislature responded put a constitutional amendment on the ballot and it was passed in that state in addition the states of Alaska Nebraska and Nevada have Constitutional Amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman in addition 19 states have introduced legislation to put this measure to the vote within their individual states and 12 states have introduced resolutions to urge Congress to do the same at a federal level. This is my sixth year at the legislature and to be quite honest when I decided to carry this piece of legislation, I had no idea the amount of interest that this would generate across the state since November. I have received an excess of 3,000 emails countless phone calls and letters with people expressing their deeply held beliefs on this particular issue and they range the whole Spectrum, but that's I don't think I've received one single contact from any individual who isn't sure about the issue. The bill that would be is before you today would allow the voters of Minnesota to speak on this very important issue. What will happen likely is that we will see Court challenges in Minnesota. Should that be the case what we would see as the state supreme court having the power and the authority to rule on the challenge to our state statutes members. This issue is too important to leave to the Supreme Court Justices. We should put this matter to the people of the state of Minnesota the four founders of our country and our state allowed a process realizing that there would be issues that would come before the state and the country that the that the voters would want to have a say in members if there is any issue that is not more important than defining marriage. Edge in our society that today I can't think of it. We need to pass this bill. So the residents of the state of Minnesota can be heard on this most important issue. I would appreciate your support discussion of the bill the member from Ramsey represented in tenza. Thank you. Mr. (00:06:06) Speaker. This is Matt entenza dfl House minority leader from st. Paul. (00:06:11) It's not surprising that with two million people out of work since the beginning of the Bush Administration. With our schools increasingly run from Washington as opposed to control by our local communities that President Bush wishes to change the subject. Our Minnesota priorities should be about creating jobs creating educational opportunities and lowering health care costs, but the president and others would rather divert our attention from this failed record and have us talking about people's private relationships. This attempt to amend our constitution is about- politics designed to divide our families and our communities. The issue here is not about marriage. The issue is about a political marriage of convenience designed to distract and divide minnesotans and keep them from focusing on the issues that would unite all of us to improve our communities and create the success that we need. Our own Republican leaders initially recognized that a constitutional amendment was unnecessary Governor pawlenty after the Massachusetts decision said himself that an amendment was not necessary. I quote. We passed several years ago the Defense of Marriage Act. We think it will repel any legal challenges. Representatives fig mm agreed. I quote the speaker we passed Doma and I think we stand with that until somebody says that is not the law. Apparently the message came down from Washington DC unemployment is rising leave. No child behind. His unpopular health care costs are going up. Let's talk about something else. We believe that our Focus must be on building our communities creating jobs, improving our schools and lowering health care costs protecting marriage is not the issue. There was no constitutional amendment proposed when Britney Spears was married for all of 12 hours. There was no constitutional amendment proposed when Elizabeth Taylor was married seven or eight or nine times. I lose track. government does not protect marriages Family protects marriages government does not build a marriage communities and church strengthen and build our marriages. Government does not define our sacraments and sacred religious practices. Our churches free from government interference declare. What is sacred? Government's role is limited but important for example to Define who may make important decisions at a hospital for a sick loved one or who may assist or collect insurance. Let us allow our churches to define marriage and keep government out. If a church doesn't want to marry someone that is the choice of that church and its members not the government's Choice when this country was founded. Our leaders designed a constitution that has become a beacon for the world for well over 200 years the founders of our state following that example designed our constitution with a structure to nurture our young State and to protect civil liberties. Today's legislation is unprecedented amending our constitution our founding document enshrined by our Founders in forbearers. We should never use the Constitution as it means to advance a political agenda. We have taken an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution today. I say no to political games to using the Constitution as a political football and to using the power of government to intrude into people's private lives. Let us work instead to build this great state to advance a positive agenda that unites Us in doesn't divide us. Let's create opportunities not division. Let us work together for Minnesota discussion to the bill. Discussion to the bail the member from Dakota represent Hobart. (00:10:41) This again is Mary Liz Holberg the author of the bill republican from Lakefield (00:10:46) were made by representative and tenza statement that President Bush wants to change the focus represent of entenza President Bush did not begin to issue marriage licenses in San Francisco. President Bush did not issue marriage licenses in New Mexico. President. Bush did not challenge the Massachusetts court system. This is a situation that he is risen under his watch that is not of his doing this is the stack of emails that I have received since November, it goes down to the base of this area here. This is the number of people that have addressed me in as many members of this body. No, I have not shied away from issues that are controversial. This is not the first controversial issue that I've carried. This is the first time in six years that I've got anywhere near the amount of Correspondence on this issue that people of Minnesota have the right to speak on Sunday representative and tons of was on CCO TV with me and one of the statements that he said was quote. This is not a pressing political issue in Minnesota members I contend to you here is the proof that people and state of Minnesota want to vote on this issue discussion the member from Hennepin represent Allison, (00:12:11) this is Keith Ellison a dfl are from Minneapolis. (00:12:16) In the bedroom of their Virginia home early on the morning of July 15th, 1958 Richard 24 and Mildred loving 18 awoken their bedroom with three flashlights shining in their eyes a voice behind the lights demanded. What are you doing in bed with that lady? I'm his wife Mildred answered Richard pointed to the five-week-old Washington DC marriage license hanging on the wall. The marriage license did not impress the sheriff. He said that's no good here the sheriff along with two deputies who would enter the house through an unlocked door at 2:00 a.m. Arrested the couple. Facing felony conviction for the possible with the possibility of up to five years in prison the lovings originally plead guilty. They received a one-year jail sentence suspended on the condition that they were to leave the state and not return for 25 years the lovings appeal their case and nearly a decade after their arrest the United States Supreme Court, I guess an activist Court held that 16 States unconstitutionally sought to interfere with a person's right to marry the partner of his or her choice. This year marks the 36 year anniversary of the Supreme Court case loving versus Virginia a landmark civil rights case and it resonates loudly with the present day struggles for equal marriage rights. You might wonder about the charge you might ask yourself. What do they do? What did the lovings do? Why were they arrested charged convicted and then appealed and then why is their name enshrined in a landmark Supreme Court case? Well, they violated Virginia's laws against marriage marriage between people of different races. That was their crime for which they were banished from their home for which they faced a year in jail. Mildred loving was black Richard loving was white. And therefore they had to be subject to the criminal laws. I'd like to let you know that when the judge judge Leon vassal admonished them in their ruling he said and this is a direct quote from the transcript. Almighty. God created the races white black yellow melee and red and he placed them on separate continents and but for the interference with this Arrangement, that would be no cause for such marriage the fact that he separated the races shows. He did not intend for the races to mix. You see people who want to limit rights? And withhold Liberty invoke God's precious name all the time. It only depends on when it's convenient for them when Mildred and Richard loving we got married. They were separated and banished in the name of God when gay couples try to express their love and commitment by the getting married today again people stand on God. I thought God ordered us to love one another I thought God was about redemption in Freedom. I don't know for reading from the same book or not. Today, we're considering a constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage between people of the same sex in 1958. It was about race today. It's about sex do minnesotans have the right to marry who they choose even if the person is of the same sex, no matter what we say in this chamber today no matter who says what and how long history says the answer is yes. If minnesotans could marry whomever they please regardless of sex then in a few years, it would not be a big deal 36 years ago interracial couples would own would not only faced social ostracism and violence, but also criminal charges in 16 States today interracial couples live in the United States and everywhere in this state in most of us never noticed them. Of course, some people still hate them but Society does not endorse that hatred Society condemns that hatred So why did they are we going to enshrine discrimination in our constitution? Why are we going to distract the people of this good state from the real issues that are facing us? By endorsing Prejudice and enshrining bigotry in the constitution of our state. We are operating against the very purpose of a constitution. The purpose of a constitution members is to protect individual rights and fundamental rights. Can you possibly imagine the right for a black school children to sit in a classroom being put up for election? How would that vote go? Can you possibly imagine having the right to speak on an unpopular subject such as being against a war should that be put up for election? Should the public be should we get public approval before a person protest the police coming into their home without a warrant based on probable? Cause no these constitutional rights are not up for public approval. These constitutional rights are individual rights Democracy in America is not majority rules all the time. It is majority rules so long as this does not interfere with individual and fundamental rights. The right to marry is a fundamental right, and it should be extended to all of our citizens. Thank you. The member from Washington representative Lippmann. (00:18:08) This is Eric lippman a republican from Lake Elmo (00:18:11) respect to my friend and colleague representative Ellison. I think he has a number of points wrong and I'd like to have a chance to address each of them in turn representative Ellison in the civil law committee. Regrettably. You're not a member but we did spend considerable time talking about loving versus Virginia and the case that you so eloquently described and I think it was the Judgment of the members of the civil law committee that loving didn't have any instruction for this legislature. I'll tell you why. In loving you would agree with me. I trust that the court of the Supreme Court was motivated by the fact that the Virginia law had a discriminatory purpose and with that in mind, I asked and a grew to about front Minnesota was she of the view that Minnesota's marriage laws when written in and put on the statute books had a discriminatory purpose against gay or lesbian people her answer and you can check the transcript was no No, discriminatory purpose for Minnesota's marriage laws likewise in the Constitutional Amendment that we proposed here today. There aren't any criminal penalties again, loving versus Virginia had criminal penalties a very different case in represented here today. likewise the difference with loving versus Virginia and the case that we're considering here today is that Men and women of different races marrying was something that was familiar before our Constitution was familiar at common law that's not the case with folks of the same genders. Marrying that has never been really a part of western civilization really until Canada last year Canada broke new ground setting out a very different set of practices. And so while you may well claim loving versus Virginia as the pedigree, I think the real pedigree is Dred Scott vs. Sanford. The real pedigree is Dred Scott. And in that case as you well know. A majority of the Supreme Court said that your ancestors and representative Walker's ancestors were not people but property. So horrifying was that decision to Territorial minnesotans and rightfully so that we put into our constitution to reject the federal system of Lifetime tenure. We were going to elect our judges because we wanted a check and accountability on any justices any majority of any court that would say that ever can Americans aren't people but property. And we Face the same kind of judicial activism which causes us to shrink and whore to suggest that the due process clause or the equal protection Clause written by John Adams and Massachusetts could be understood as authorizing gay marriage. It's just not so and so the better tradition is the one that representative Holberg exemplifies today and the one that's in our state constitution. Mr. Speaker. If I might have a little leave the Preamble says we the people of the state of Minnesota the people of the state of Minnesota grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty and Desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this constitution. So it is the people grateful to God who are interested in preserving our blessings to ourselves and our posterity who joined together in a social compact to create the You said it is not as you suggest representative Ellison Ellison that we cannot put up for election elements of the Constitution know it's us drawing together as a state as we did in 1857 to decide. What's in the Constitution. It's not for justices. It's not revealed from Sinai or Delphi or some other place. This comes from us as the first article of the Bill of Rights goes on to say government has instituted for the security benefit and protection of the people in whom all political power is inherent together with the right to alter modify or reform government whenever required by the public good I would suggest to you today that with an activist Judiciary that reads the due process clause and the equal protection clause in ways that are just plain nuts. But it is required by us in the public interest to define the terms that are in the Constitution political power is inherent in US. It's for us to decide what the text is. And if there is any danger that an activist Court either here or elsewhere might oblige and force upon us a constant construction of the document, which is not natural and not sensible It Is Us in whom all political power is inherent to alter modify or reform government at suits the public good loving versus Virginia doesn't give us any instruction Dred. Scott vs. Sanford does it is the people of Minnesota and their elected representatives in the legislature that help form a constitution and sustain a constitution. We are exactly right to be doing this bill. I urge you to vote for this important house file. Is there any further discussion representative slawek, (00:23:50) this is Nora slawek a DSLR from Maplewood. (00:23:53) Sure. So the Republicans want to talk about gay marriage the Republicans in this house led by rep Holberg have pushed this bill about gay marriage through three committees and all the way to the house floor today. For a bill to make this quick progress. It must mean the gay marriage is at the top of the Republican agenda. I see that even Senator Bachmann has joined us today for this debate. Is this a bill positioning against gay marriage from our state house to the White House to mobilize Republican voters in November? I'm not so sure but the Democratic agenda is what I want to talk about today. That's what we should be talking about. What about creating jobs about a world-class education for our students about affordable healthcare and the Safety and Security for us all when are we going to have that debate? This bill has caused more controversy and more heartache in the halls of the Capitol and we have seen in a long time. Is this a bill about marriage and love or hate and religion? Is it a bill about keeping? What is or about keeping out? What isn't? Is it a bill about invigorating the Republicans to victory in November or about slamming down members of our Minnesota population? I see this bill is about distraction about division about what is the worst in Minnesota and not the best. We are a state that's proud of our minnesotans. We are proud of our children. We're proud of our seniors. We're proud of our neighbors were proud of our businesses proud of our environment. We're proud of our schools and we're proud of our people we want what is best and we want to do what is right and in the Forefront of this debate outside this chamber and in the capital Halls are two groups on opposite sides of this issue and they both think they're right and they both are driven by fear. Some think we need to muck up. Our state's Constitution to put limits on who can get married. We don't do this. Our future could be doomed. They say I thought our constitution was about granting rights not restricting them the fear from the other side is that they're being told they're different and again, they don't like that. Why should they today? I'm going to vote. No on this bill. I don't think we need to amend our state's Constitution. This bill is about dividing minnesotans. It's about Prejudice. It's about fear. It's about politics and it's politics at its worst surely this vote and my comments will be using my re-election by those who see this as nothing more than politics. I can see the ads with the binoculars. Here's traditional marriage and here is gay marriage. Some people may see this as good politics, but I only see this as bad and these ads surely will hit our mailboxes in our Airwaves come October. That's one thing I'm certain of how can dividing our state move us ahead over and over my neighbors in Suburban. Minnesota have told me they are not for this amendment, but they have also told me they are not for gay marriage. So that leaves my constituents and that leaves me in the gray Zone. It's not as clear as you might think rep Holberg. There is a gray here. In this house, there isn't a gray Zone. We have our red button. We have our red or green button to decide this Bill. Yes, green. No red for me. My true vote today would be grey or in between. I'm not for this amendment because it's filled with dividing our communities and I'm not for gay marriage because Minnesota and our nation are not ready yet again. And again, this is a message. I'm hearing Republicans will make the leap and connect every no vote to being for gay marriage. This would be wrong. Dead wrong not every Democrat voting no in this house is for gay marriage and not every Democrat will be voting. No, we each will vote our hearts and our minds on our districts, but late tonight after the last member has left this chamber and it's dark and it's still in here. I'm sure the design of the disturbing ads and the smear campaign for those who vote no on. This will be start being formulated. The no vote is the hard vote today, but we must do what's right. We must stand up for what's right and our Constitution and not let discrimination win. We will not win this vote today. We know that because of fear but in the hearts and the minds of minnesotans We Will Win of those who can rise above the red and the green and see the gray and see both sides of this issue. This is an issue we know is not going away soon. So what's going to happen if this amendment does not pass will Minnesota really look that different and what will happen if it does pass and it goes to the voters then we're going to see a campaign the campaign a fear campaign of hate go onto our streets. It's going to go into our homes. It's going to come into our lives. It's a campaign of fear and division that we do not need. That's why I'll be voting. No. Is there any further discussion representative (00:29:37) Clark? This is Karen Clark a dfl are from (00:29:40) Minneapolis we can members. I made some notes to speak from because this is a tough issue to have on the floor. I want to make about three points. first one is this the Constitutional amendment being proposed by the Republican majority in this Minnesota House of Representatives is an extreme measure everything about it is Extreme and everything about it is mean first it is this extreme discrimination against at least 10% of the Minnesota population. I think that most minnesotans have no idea what this amendment actually says and what it would do if it were to pass if they did I think they would overwhelmingly reject it. From my conversations with constituents family and regular many minnesotans. It's very clear to me that they don't know that the language represented Holberg that vaguely refers to marriage and it's quote legal equivalence and quote what actually do real harm to glbt families that actually hurt our families. And there are many of us in the glbt communities who are part of families throughout this state every town every city every suburb every rural County many and probably every family in here. Well this amendment and it's vaguely deceptive language would harm our glbt families in Minnesota. It would not in any way protect our straight families. how would it harm same-sex Families First of all it would ban same-sex Partners no matter how long we have been in a committed and loving family from having the same rights and privileges for our kids for our partners that married brothers sisters co-workers and parents and others enjoy and it would try to do that through the Constitution the US general Accounting office has listed more than a thousand Federal rights protections and responsibilities automatically granted to married heterosexual coupled but denied to same-sex couples. For example, I'll go through a few things the right to visit a sick spouse in the hospital the right to make decisions during a medical emergency the right to leave work to care for an ill spouse the right to access pension workers compensation and survivors benefits the right to sue for wrongful death of a spouse the right to inherit without a will there are many others those are few. These are basic civil rights basic economic Justice rates. They're not religious rights. In fact, The Joint religious legislative Coalition has been working here at the state capitol to promote basic economic Justice and that's what Minnesota families really need. I believe having such civil rights would strengthen all of our families straight and gay married and single person headed families. All the many kinds of families that make up our diverse communities. If you believe in marriage, you should want civil marriage that promotes stable long-lasting relationships between same-sex Partners. You should join me in that. Denying us these equal civil rights would not help any heterosexual families. In fact, many of you who have glbt family members. Tell us you think we should have these same rights. I recently pulled my own family. My dad who is married 61 years my sister married 10 years one brother 36 years another brother in a committed partnership with a Woman They unanimously agreed that me their lesbian sister should have these n daughter should have these very same basic civil rights that they enjoy no need to call it marriage call it a civil union call it domestic partner, whatever. They think that I and the other glbt community members deserve these basic rights and of course, they know that we need them they live with us when we have our health problems many of our issues that are common to all families. What's really bad about this proposed amendment? Is this remember that these civil rights were already prohibited by state law in 1996 with the so-called Doma Bill Defense of Marriage Act to put that prohibition that denial of these civil rights into our state constitution is very serious business. It should not be done lightly. It would mean for example that any effort to try to reconsider whether domestic partnership shipwrights could domestic Partners could receive the same health benefits as their co-workers, which is what was brought to us by the labor unions recently. They could not be passed into state law again, unless we change the state constitution. We'd have to change the state constitution first before we could consider some of those basic civil rights. I think about this. What would it mean to the over 200 Minnesota businesses who now offer domestic partner benefits to their employees would they be sued to stop offering that? Is that what Minnesota businesses want? I think the Chamber of Commerce better listen up to this because this is what the extreme language in this amendment would allow I listened to some of the rally very closely on Monday. I heard some people talk about the need to strengthen marriage and strengthen families. I wholeheartedly agree and I think most minnesotans would that our families need strengthening? I personally want to see the families. I represent be stronger whether they are married single head of households grandparents raising grandchildren Auntie's raising nieces and nephews, whatever. I know that many of these families are very stressed and need to be relieved of the incredible pressures. They are feeling from having to work long hours at low wage jobs are jobs that don't have health care benefits. They can afford or those families who had to quit their jobs because of cuts to health care that we passed here in this legislature or those families who are desperate because their Elder parent is in a nursing home that's been cut back. Those families who want their kids to go to college but can't afford to pay the tuition that has doubled in the last four years or those families who are homeless or doubled up with with relatives because they can't find housing. That is Affordable. Banning same-sex civil marriage will not help these families one bit and yet that is what they are being led to believe by this amendment and all the propaganda around it. That's what was being said at the rally Monday participants were being encouraged to believe that same-sex civil marriage would harm their marriages what these family really families really need are better paying jobs affordable housing and childcare. They need State funding restored to our schools our police and our firefighters our nursing homes. It is a divisive diversion to suggest that allowing loving same-sex couples and their children these basic civil rights is the problem that's hurting straight family stability that giving others these rights takes away from their strengths as a family all our families deserve more stability. So let's not cave in to this extreme fear mongering. If you are a heterosexual married person Minnesota the house Republican sponsoring this bill and speaking at the rally on Monday suggest that you should worry that the loving and committed lesbian gay bisexual or transgender family living down the street or across the road is a dangerous threat to your family. It's just a lie, and I think most of you know that most minnesotans certainly do if they get the whole story. Another point, unfortunately, this bill also misuses religion as a tool to create this fear. It is very important that we keep the idea of civil marriage separate from the concept of religious marriage. One is about government bestowing rights and responsibilities onto loving adults. The others is about a sacred compact between two loving people whether your church or mind supports are condemned same-sex. Eugenie unions is not the business of government glbt folks do not want to require religious institutions to perform marriage ceremonies. There are plenty that do that right now. We need to keep what is sacred sacred and what is civil civil on Thursday this coming Thursday thousands of glbt individuals and their families and allies and ministers and friends will be coming to the capital. They will be respectful and they will talk to you about their own lives. I hope that you will listen we all need to listen. Times are changing public support for civil marriage and civil unions is growing 10 states of the District Columbia offer domestic partnership benefits to same-sex partners of public employees as do dozens of cities and counties. in San Francisco couple weeks ago Del Martin and Phyllis lion aged 83 and 79 were married in City Hall They had been together 51 years. They were well known for their lifelong work for justice on many fronts. Does their Union? And the rights they now recorded really threaten the marriage of anyone in this room. I know that it will take time to change hearts and minds and we've got time. We don't need to pass this Constitutional Amendment today. Seeing no further discussion. I'm sorry representative Kahn. (00:40:22) This is fellows Kana DSLR for Minneapolis. (00:40:25) Like many of you I have received many emails referring to the word of God and the scriptures, so I thought I would bring those to our discussion today. Representative Holberg. I don't know if you bought your Bible with you today. But in case you didn't to follow along, I'll just send you a copy. What and let me give you an example of one of the things that and you've probably all received these it's made quite clear in the Bible that a man and a woman shall become one. It is not my opinion. But our creator everyone is entitled to their opinion. But there's only one absolute truth that truth is the word of God like it or not in your comfort zone or not. That is what we need to believe. In the Jewish tradition, which is as I may remind you the religion of Jesus Christ. We read through the Torah each year a portion at a time. This week we start with Leviticus where we later find in Leviticus 18:22. The prohibition sell many have quoted to me in emails and phone calls forming the basis of their urging me to vote for this bill Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is an Abomination. However to understand this in context we should look at other biblical marriage tracks. I'll give only a few few examples, but I could read at length from this book today Genesis 29 17 to 28 is the story of Jacob and his two wives Leia and Rachel two wives Bible says two wives are all right, you can go if you want the further correlation. You can go to Matthew 1 verses 1 to 16 gives you the genealogy of Jesus pointing out again straight on the delineation of the line of Jacob. We also read and do to nominee 2213 221 how a woman who is not a virgin at marriage shall be stoned to death. Divorce is not permitted Deuteronomy 22 19 and neither is adultery. 2222 its punishment is death. Turning to the New Testament Corinthians First Corinthians 629 we can read this one. I think I'll read straight. from it will read be not deceived neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor abusers of themselves with mankind shall inherit the kingdom of God. As you vote today, you might think of your friends your neighbors, perhaps even some among you who may be described by this language who will vote on this Constitutional Amendment today, unless you are willing to treat your own deviations from judeo Christian Pursuits accordingly. Your only honest vote would be a red know. Representative Olson M. (00:44:24) This is Mark Olson a republican from big lie, (00:44:27) Madam speaker members and everybody who has spoken to this matter before us today. We've heard Section 1 of Article 1 in the Constitution referenced in support of this bill and in opposition of this bill And I have some documents here that go back in our history American history. Want to goes back to 1885 a Supreme Court case titled Murphy vs. Ramsey. And then a document from a professor Joseph Daniel unone from 1935 when he studied the sexual regulations and cultural Behavior. A various cultures. He studied 88 different cultures. I'd first like to reference. the court case it involved the issue of polygamy that you heard. Reps have con touch on from a Biblical basis. There were 50 years of our history where there's a battle between the territories of Utah and the US Congress and other states. Utah was unable to reach statehood. Because they refused. To adopt a constitutional provision to prohibit polygamy. now today's Utah Constitution is as follows. And this is to address the point of the object of government and to protect and preserve Liberty. Article 3 section one perfect toleration of religious sentiment is guaranteed. No inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship, but polygamists or plural marriages are forever ever prohibited and this ordinance is irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state. So what is more than just permanent for that state? Without its own consent, but also the United States. Now what I believe this reflects. Is the original intent? Of our Constitution and understanding of the Declaration and inalienable rights. natural law and the various principles in which our country was founded one of the court cases that followed or was actually previous to this constitutional provision, which I think led to it. I'd like to just share with you a statement from it. This is from the US Supreme Court when it said for certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free self-governing Commonwealth fit to take ranked as one of the coordinate states of the Union then that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the Holy estate of matrimony, the sure Foundation of all that is stable and Noble in our civilization the best guarantee of that Reverend morality, which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political Improvement. Now that's not a ruling. You might hear from today's Supreme Court. But it is nonetheless one closer to our Moorings. And what I find so interesting about these two documents the second of which I will share from now. Is they both come from a non-religious? situation Non religious setting Professor Joseph Daniel on one was a secularist a non-Christian in in reaction to the Christians of his day. He was a British Anthropologist studying 88 different cultures and in response to the Christians of his day. He sought out to study sexual regulations of various cultures and the related cultural behaviors. I just have a few paragraphs. I'd like to share from. He notes that it was suggested to him that when social regulations / vid forbid direct satisfaction of the sexual impulses. The emotional conflict in society is expressed in another way. And that's what we call civilization which has been built up on sacrifices in the gratification of in an innate individual desires. He goes on to explain that in support of this startling conjecture. No cultural evidence was presented and he thought that it would be worthwhile to investigate the matter. He didn't believe it. In fact, he stated frankly. I hope to dispel the idea. But he did not proceed far before he felt forced to conclude that the brave hypothesis. Contained an awkward and purp excellent perplexing truth. In fact, he went on to State the evidence was such as to demand a complete revision of his personal philosophy. reflected in his conclusion Which was societies limiting sex to marriage monogamous relationships. Between men and women experience progress and societies permitting sexual laxity. experience decline in collapse he found this to be absolute with every culture he studied. Reflecting a summation identified as the key to societal progress. That being cultural norms that can find sex to marriage between a man and a woman and that being monogamous permanent for life. Now, it is a reflection are just on our society that this bill is here. And it'll be an even greater reflection on our society. if we don't pass this and our society tolerates that Because while we hear criticism about the divorce rates. And the need to why do we need to protect marriages when there are so many repeated marriages? Some of the same sex marriages are relationships are longer lasting than some of the marriages. Well, that point has a place. I think the more important point is to get back to the original intent and the foundation of our country. Because if it's destroyed there is little for the good people to do. Currently it is not yet destroyed. It is still there in some areas across the state and Country. It's still being taught. In the next generate for the next Generations to carry on. Members I would urge your support of this bill. I regret that our society has come to the place where it has to be here. and I hope there is a cry. among a majority of people of this state to God himself That reflects humility and repentance. So that this body as well as the Senate will act to heal our land. Thank you members (00:53:24) now is Republican representative Mark Olson of Big Lake speaking during yesterday's Minnesota house debate on a proposed Constitutional Amendment essentially Banning same-sex marriage in the state of Minnesota house went on to vote voted to approve the amendment 88 244 it now goes to the state senate where the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the amendment tomorrow the committee by the way is also expected to discuss an alternate Amendment one which would leave the definition of marriage in the hands of legislators or is we'll keep you posted as this story continues to develop at the state capitol.