If we are truly the party of freedom and limited government, what
justification is there to use the power of government to restrict people's
Overwhelmingly, younger generations support marriage for same-sex couples, and I agree with Sen. Petersen that it is inevitable. As a mother of generally Republican-leaning children in high school and college, it was difficult to explain to them why our party took the position it did. The philosophical double standard was troublesome, to say the least.
I believe it is time for Minnesota state law to finally reflect the fact that marriage is about the love, commitment and responsibility that two people share. Marriage is good for children, and it strengthens families and communities. If we truly believe these things, I cannot think of any valid reason for our state to continue to exclude same-sex couples from having the opportunity to marry and pursue happiness like anyone else.
Furthermore, I believe that it is time for the Republican Party to seriously address this issue. Public polls continue to show increasing movement in Minnesota and across the country towards understanding that the basic freedom to marry the person you love should no longer exclude gay and lesbian citizens. In fact, recent polls show that only 23 percent of Minnesotans still believe same-sex couples should have no legal recognition. Our Republican Party needs to recognize that as generations age, the world changes, and that supporting government intrusion into Minnesotans' personal lives is antithetical to being the Party of limited government and individual liberty.
The fact is that tens of thousands of same-sex couples live in Minnesota -- they may be your neighbors, family members, or fellow churchgoers. Same-sex couples are raising children -- successful, healthy and happy children -- in communities all across our state. Gay and lesbian Minnesotans pay taxes, vote, and serve in the military on behalf of their fellow citizens. They take care of each other, their families and their children -- and ultimately, aside from whom they fell in love with, they are no different than anyone else.
There is no substitute for marriage in society. I cannot imagine being told that it was illegal to marry my husband. Same-sex couples who have made lifelong commitments of love and fidelity to each other deserve the recognition, responsibilities and protections inherent to marriage, and the children of same-sex couples deserve to grow up in stable homes with married parents. It is not the role of government to discriminate based on gender or sexual orientation.