Supporters of the proposed state constitutional marriage amendment scored a victory in the courts earlier this week.
On Monday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie “erred and exceeded his authority” in retitling ballot questions when he disagreed with how the Legislature had written them.
Thus, the titles of two proposed amendments, one relating to marriage and the other to voter I.D., will remain as originally written. The two measures go to voters on Nov. 6.
Some traditional marriage supporters saw Ritchie’s rewording of the marriage amendment as a way of weakening its chances for passing. His version read: “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples.”
The original version, which has been reinstated, reads: “Recognition of Marriage as Solely Between One Man and One Woman.”
“Opponents of the marriage amendment know that the majority of Minnesotans believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference. “The polls affirm this again and again. Therefore, to defeat the amendment, they must use tactics such as those employed by the secretary of state to confuse voters about what the amendment does and does not do, as well as about the effect of a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ vote.”
“Those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman and that the people should have the final say about Minnesota marriage law — not judges or politicians — should vote ‘yes’ in November,” he said.
Despite the conflict over the title, the wording of the actual ballot question remains the same.
It will read: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”