Sunday, May 12, 2013

Let the Minnesota Senate Know What You Think About The Same Sex Marriage Legislation.

The Minnesota State Senate is scheduled to consider the same sex marriage legislation passed by the Minnesota House last week.  I have already written to as many state senators as I could to express my opposition to this legislation, and I would encourage you all to do the same.  The contact information for the Senate is here:

If you would like to use an email merge program, here is a .csv file with each senator's email address derived from concatenating their contact information:

That .csv file is crude, but the email address works for all but about 10 senators.  The first link above also includes an ascii text file under the "labels" tab.

Below is the text of the email I sent.  I encourage you to write your own, but if this inspires you, feel free to use what you can.  Make sure you are civil, polite, decent, courteous and respectful.  Short and to the point is also good, and a simple sentence or two expressing your hope that they will vote against this legislation would be just fine.

Subject: Please consider voting no on same sex marriage legislation. HF 1054, SF 925, revisions do not correct problems.
Dear Senator ____,

It is my understanding that the Senate will soon consider the same sex marriage legislation recently passed by the House.  Having spent some amount of time reading and looking into HF 1054, SF 925, and the proposed revisions, amendments and impact of the legislation the Senate may produce, I would like you to consider voting against the version of this bill that reaches your chamber.  You may be mistaken in believing that the narrow failure of the marriage amendment last November indicates support for such legislation, and even a majority of support by Minnesotans.  I would ask you to consider this: if next election sees a proposed constitutional amendment enshrining same sex marriage as constitutional, would it in fact pass?  Or would it fail by an even greater percentage than its opposite in the last election?

I also believe I understand the good intentions of those who have amended the legislation by inserting language and categories such as "civil" marriage and "Exemptions based on Religious Association".  Unfortunately, these efforts do not make the bill acceptable.  Because it proposes something that is unprecedented and opposed by so many Minnesotans and Americans, the need for such an exemption is troubling.  Will the vast number of Minnesotans who consider same sex marriage wrong, unnatural, and destructive of family, society, state and country need to ask the state's permission under this law to continue their opposition?  Would it make any difference if this opposition were not religious in nature, much less Christian?  The use of the word "civil", while also well meant, does not seem to sufficiently clarify or lessen the enormous confusion, uncertainty and indecision this legislation will unleash.

The arguments I have heard for this legislation appear to be largely emotional, and based on an individual's supposed "right" to "love whomever they want".  If that argument is valid as the supporters of this legislation seem to believe, then I suppose we could change "whoever" to "whatever", of any age, condition, or species, singular or plural.  If you pass this, you will owe polygamists (including some Mormons, Muslims, and others) an apology for decades and centuries of criminalizing their love.  Many of us love our money, and would like to be married to it, but our governor and your chamber now consider denying us the right to keep all - or at least more - of what we love.  If you detect some (little) humor in that, you are right, but the point is that emotion and a supposed claim to an invented right of some kind is a terrible basis for legislation.  It's also destructive of a genuinely ordered civil society where morality and reason can consider what is right and wrong as well as the consideration of good and evil, virtue and vice.

I appreciate your time.  Should you, or your staff, wish to contact me, feel free to do so using the information on this email.

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