To the editor,

On Nov. 6, 2012, the citizens of Minnesota have the opportunity to decide whether or not to preserve Minnesota's current legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in our state constitution. I strongly support the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment because there is an active movement to redefine marriage in Minnesota and I believe redefining marriage would have negative consequences for all Minnesotans.

Marriage is under threat of being redefined in Minnesota on multiple fronts. There have been several bills introduced into the Minnesota Legislature that seek to either redefine marriage as between any two consenting adults or abolish the institution of marriage altogether. Moreover, at a recent rally for Minnesotans United For All Families, State Sen. John Marty urged participants to vote "No" on the amendment so that the Minnesota Legislature can redefine marriage in Minnesota in January.

There is also an active lawsuit in Hennepin County seeking to overturn Minnesota's law defining marriage solely between one man and one woman.

Should marriage be redefined in Minnesota, we know from other states where this has happened that we can expect the following:

  • Children as young as first grade will be taught by the government that marriages and same-sex unions are equivalent. Parents will be powerless to opt their children out of these lessons.
  • Religious groups, such as Catholic Charities, will be forced to abandon their adoption and foster care programs if they refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
  • The tax-exempt status of religious nonprofits that cannot abide with this new definition will be challenged and may even be revoked.
  • In addition, redefining marriage transforms marriage from a procreative union centered on the rearing of children into a union centered on the romantic affections of two consenting adults. As a result, the common sense notion that children need a mom and a dad will be abandoned by our government. This will negatively impact children, who, studies show, do best when raised by their married mother and father.

Please join me on Nov. 6 in standing for children, families, and religious freedom. Vote "Yes" on the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment.

-- Patricia Chenier