To THE AUTHORS of 1613
I received the list of the email addresses of the representatives that authored bill HF1613 from a friend of mine yesterday, this message is addressed to all of them (you). :
I currently live in downtown Minneapolis in the warehouse district. Since you probably won't really process anything I'm about to say until you can figure out my sexual orientation and political affiliation I'll just tell you I'm gay and usually vote for liberal candidates. I came to Minneapolis fifteen years ago to go to the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities campus) since I could get in-state tuition because of reciprocity with South Dakota. Since I've graduated I've started a small business that's been successful for ten years now. I've never had cause to consider this isn't a place I wouldn't stay. I get up and go to work, pay my bills and taxes, and I was a volunteer with the Peace Corps for two years because I believe in public service and trying to make the world a better place even if it sounds hippy-ish to say it like that.
I watched the live feed of the discussion of the amendment in the Senate Judiciary Committee last Friday. I was unable to watch the House discussion and haven't been able to find any archive of it online. I've seen some testimony that different people have posted on Facebook from the House discussion though.
Watching the arguments on the side of support for this amendment I see that all the arguments are based on religious viewpoints. I don't share those religious beliefs so to me this amendment seems like a way to push those religious beliefs held by a majority (if the amendment passes) on a minority that doesn't hold those beliefs.
The people who oppose the societal acceptance of homosexuality want to bring up a popular vote on the issue to 'prove' that the majority of people think homosexuality is wrong "once and for all". If that happens with a 51% to 49% breakdown like pretty much everything is looking like politically lately does that really mean it should be in the Constitution? What else could we vote on like this? Why would we even need politicians if all we're going to do when we disagree is bring up a popular vote on it and put in the Constitution?
To me you're just afraid that time will tell through the court system that the current laws making same sex marriage illegal (DOMA) is NOT constitutional - so you're trying to lock it in that it's not before popular opinion finally turns completely against you. Younger people don't really think this is an issue as much, and polls over time are showing the public opinion is turning towards support for acceptance of same sex marriage.
I also feel like this issue is being used by politicians as a way to get more voters out on the next election, and that's just sad.
I thought that what Senator John Marty during the Senate hearing was great - for those of you who are married - do you think that the public should have been allowed to vote on whether you were allowed to marry your spouse? Think about it that way and see how you feel. Does that feel right to you? I'm trying to put this in a personal context because the outcome of this is going to affect me personally, and that's exactly how it's going to feel to me. Why should people I don't even know get to pass judgement on my life? I never hurt anyone, I work hard, I pay my bills and my taxes, I've fallen in (and out) love, I'm going to die someday, but somehow I don't deserve to have what you have?
You need to start thinking about the fact that everyone should be treated equally, we should all be treated the same in the eyes of the government. If you don't agree because of some religious beliefs, then that is between you and your God, it should not be between me and your God.
Passing this law isn't going to make gay people vanish off the face of the planet, and it's not going to make gay people stop having long term relationships. All it accomplishes is enshrining discrimination into the basis of our law, not to mention pushing our society towards a theocracy. I don't think that a simple public majority should be the defining characteristic of the foundation of our laws, especially when pretty much every election these days is running so close. Tyranny of the majority and all that.
All this is going to accomplish is increasing the divisiveness that seems to be growing in our country, why can't we work towards things we all agree on? How about this - I'm completely willing to agree not to try to marry another man for ten years, or try to push my ideas about it for those ten years if any one of you can personally agree not to push your ideas against it and we could instead focus on things we agree on. I bet we can find something. I'll even sign something to prove it if one of you could step up and do the same. I bet we could find LOTS of things we could agree on. Here's a simple one - the roads in the city are mess! We have budget problems. Downtown Minneapolis on the weekends after bar close looks like the zombie apocalypse with drunken club goers causing chaotic spectacle and crime EVERY WEEKEND! Someone got shot outside my building just this past weekend. Maybe there's some way to work on that sort of thing instead. I bet you'd find lots of supporters and people to vote for you if you could figure that one out. But I don't think you're about actually solving real problems, it's easier to do this to get people out to the voting booths.
Maybe you'll get your way, maybe the amendment will pass. If it does, I'm probably going to end up moving out of state eventually. I'll move somewhere else where people can mind their own business and leave their religious viewpoints out of my life. Maybe you think that's great, maybe you think I SHOULD move somewhere else. Maybe you think it'd be great if I never existed to begin with.
The worst thing is maybe you actually think you're right about it too. But I do exist and nothing you think or do is going to stop that from being true, so why do you need to make my life miserable? I didn't make myself exist, I'm just making due with the life I've been given just like you.
How depressing, and I probably wasted a good couple hours writing this to absolutely no effect.