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Human Rights Forum

October 26, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

I was surprised and disappointed to see that the League of Women Voters hosted a pre-election forum about the marriage amendment that had only one side of the debate represented. Only present was Kevin Lindsey from the state Human Rights Commission, an organization known to have staked out a position against the amendment. There was no one from "Minnesota for Marriage" or a comparable agency to speak in favor of the amendment.

It may be interesting for New Ulm residents to know that the local New Ulm Human Rights Commission, of which I am a member, decided not to host this speaker in a pre-election forum. There are those of us who do not consider the marriage amendment a "human rights" issue and who find compelling reasons to vote "yes" on the amendment.

The usual practice of the League of Women Voters - when arranging pre-election debates - is to put opposing candidates or positions together for public discussion. I wonder why this was not done on Monday, Oct. 22 with the marriage issue.

My opinion may not be shared by everyone on the New Ulm Human Rights Commission, but I personally do not see this as a human rights issue. Does every human being have the right to marry whomever or whatever they want, as a basic human right? Then, it seems to me, the polygamist should be allowed to have multiple wives, or we could be accused of intolerance and discrimination.

Rather, there are legitimate reasons for a government to put limits on the licenses it sells. A good case can be made for the government to protect and favor an institution that is essential to the continuation of the society, as marriage between man and woman. This is the institution, after all, that brings about the next generation of citizens and is best suited to raise them well.

Thomas Nass

New Ulm



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