From: Jessica Anderson
Can you imagine a complete stranger walking into your wedding and when the officiant asks for objections, the stranger lists off many objections and then has the power to stop your wedding to the one you love? That’s what the proposed marriage amendment feels like.
I’ve been in a loving and committed relationship for eight years. For me, this vote is extremely personal. Two summers ago, we had a religious ceremony in front of one hundred of our friends and family to make a lifelong commitment. It was the joyous day I had dreamed of since I was a little girl and it was the day my mom feared wouldn’t be able to happen the day I came out. Our loved ones came from different cities, political parties, and religious communities to join in support of our love.
Last summer, we traveled to Iowa to get legally married and change my name, but that marriage isn’t recognized in Minnesota or federally. Although I call her my wife, we don’t receive any of the Minnesota and federal rights and benefits that married heterosexual couples receive.
While this amendment is personally hurtful to me, it is also hurtful to so many Minnesotans. Like most Minnesotans, I believe that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. This amendment goes against my ethics as a social worker and the values I was raised with as a Catholic in Winona.
Voting yes will not stop gay people from falling in love, making a commitment to each other, and raising children together. Voting yes is voting to write discrimination into the Minnesota Constitution, whereas it has always been used to protect people’s rights.
Voting No doesn’t make same-sex marriage legal; it just allows this conversation to continue. One day I hope that my “Iowa” marriage will be legal in my state and country, but this isn’t the vote that will make that happen.
I encourage you to think about the gay people you know, whether it’s a family member, a coworker, or a neighbor. When you go to vote on November 6, please bring the gay person you know into the voting booth with you and think about how your vote will forever impact their lives. These are the reasons why I am voting No and I urge you to vote No, or just leave it blank if it’s too hard to decide.