Former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale has thrown his support behind a campaign opposing a constitutional amendment to codify Minnesota’s existing same-sex marriage ban.
Mondale, alongside the Honorable Kathleen A. Blatz, a Retired Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, has set up the Lawyers United for All Families group as part of the Minnesotans United for All Families coalition.
Minnesota stands at a crossroads in its history and our state’s constitution has become the battlefield. Our constitution is a hard-earned gift from those who preceded us and an enduring promise to those who will follow us. It should be used to protect individual liberty, not to take it away. Constitutions should be amended only to address problems that find no other solution. Therefore, as concerned citizens and members of the legal community, we need to stand up against the efforts to legislate by constitutional amendment.
The legislature has placed on the ballot this November a proposed constitutional amendment providing: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.” State statutes already prohibit same-sex couples from validly marrying in Minnesota and already prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages from other states and countries. The proposed anti-marriage amendment would be a constitutional knot tying the hands of our chosen representatives as we learn from the experience of other states on the issue of marriage. We owe it to ourselves, to our children and grandchildren, and to the legacy of this state to vote NO.
The legal community is working with Minnesotans United for All Families, the official campaign to defeat the anti-marriage amendment. We are mobilizing within law firms, within in-house legal departments, and within academic and public institutions across the state. We are calling our effort Lawyers United for All Families.
The letter copy then urges people to sign a pledge to vote NO on the amendment on November 6.
Mondale, a former state attorney general, was born and raised in the state and received his law degree through the Minnesota public university system. He served as vice president to Jimmy Carter and ran as the Democratic Party’s nominee against President Ronald Reagan.
As noted above, Minnesota already has a statutory ban on same-sex marriage but Republican legislators have said they want to give voters the chance to prevent “activist judges” from overturning the ban. Opponents of the measure say it is unnecessarily divisive at a time when the state needs to pull together to ensure fiscal recovery.
Polls suggest Minnesotans are about evenly divided on the issue with Public Policy Polling finding that 46% of people favor the amendment while 47% are opposed and 7% are undecided.