Continuing the Conversation


Ross Pyka

The "In the Yes" panel discussed the pro side of Minnesota's proposed marriage amendment

Dan Kilkelly, Staff Writer

Just one week after the “In the k“NO”w” panel discussing the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, a second panel was held. This event, titled “In the Yes,” was an extended discussion of the issue. The crowd was much different than the previous panel, with lots of couples and their children, although there were still quite a few students. There were tables set up with “Vote Yes” signs and promotional materials.

While the previous panel focused more on the emotional consequences of this amendment, how it affected gay couples, and stories appealing to voters through phone banks, “In the Yes” focused more on the legal aspects of the amendment. One of the main points covered was that allowing gay couples to marry would be to acknowledge that the purpose of marriage is not procreation.

In the promotional materials provided, the following reasons were also provided for why people planned to vote yes:

We don’t want Mother’s and Father’s Day to be jeopardized.

We don’t want to be forced to call our loved one’s partners, rather than husbands and wives.

We believe that each child has the right to know each of the birth parents.

We don’t want government dictating what marriage is.

Employees of multiple different organizations are being fined or fired for refusing to take part in a same-sex marriage.

Evan Wilson, an attorney, spoke at length about these concerns and how they affected Minnesotans legally. He started the panel off with a reassurance that he and the people behind the amendment didn’t think gay couples were somehow inferior, or that gay couples couldn’t properly raise children. Then he went into each of the points listed above, citing studies that said children raised by both the mother and the father will end up more stable. He also described occurrences exemplifying the fifth reason, including a photography business that did not feel comfortable photographing a gay couple and was penalized by the state for discrimination.

Although the turnout wasn’t quite as large as “In the k“NO”w,” there was still a good mixture of people on both sides of the issue in the audience, and presented a strong oppositional argument for voters to consider.