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DOMA: The marriage of discrimination and religion


Fri, Mar 10th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

With the start of the 2006 Minnesota Legislative Session on March 1st, Republicans were aggressively pushing their tool to prevent gay marriage, the so called Defense of Marriage Amendment. Hundreds of thousands of DVDs distributed around the State featured Governor Pawlenty and three other top Republicans warning of the dangers to conventional marriage that gay marriage poses. Only a constitutional amendment will prevent an activist Supreme Court from overturning the present law which prohibits gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

Like most people my age I still feel a little uncomfortable around gay and lesbian people, even though my wife, Robin, and I have a few gay and lesbian friends. But I do not feel uncomfortable at all about defending their rights.

The Defense of Marriage Amendment (DOMA) does not have anything to do with defending marriage. It has everything to do with discriminating against people, in this case gay and lesbian people.

I am opposed to DOMA. I do not think it should be on the November ballot. Supporters of the Amendment do not want the Supreme Court to decide if gay and lesbian people should be able to marry. But that is exactly why we have a Supreme Court. The role of the Supreme Court is to act as a check and balance on the other two branches of government to insure that they do not violate our constitutional freedoms. I think it would be good if the Supreme Court considered whether gay and lesbian people can marry.

Beside the Republicans, who are using DOMA as a partisan wedge issue, two other groups are working to pass DOMA. They are the Minnesota Catholic Conference - the Catholic Bishops - and the Minnesota Family Council - the evangelicals (check their easy to find websites). I feel that these two groups are trying to force their religious views on everyone else. If they are successful it will blow a big hole in our Constitution. This will be the first time ever that the Constitution is used to deny rights to people. I disagree strongly with their actions.

I am tired of religion in politics. I think many people are. Religion is now used by some as a weapon to injure people politically. This country was founded by religious people, not on religious values, but on secular values: free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, due process and equal protection under the law. Those are the ideals that make .....
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So long to number 34

Fri, Mar 10th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

I think it was May, 1992, but dont quote me. We were visiting Minnesota from our home in Michigan, and my sister had given us Twins tickets. What I remember about the game was that Kirby Puckett hit a grand slam, and the announcer said it was Pucke ..... 
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A budget is a statement of ethics

Fri, Mar 3rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

The Union of Concerned Scientists asked its members to write to the local papers concerning the Bush administrations perverse use of scientific research, the muzzling of scientists, and use of political litmus tests for hiring and appointment to rev ..... 
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Ben Franklin and the opinions of men

Fri, Mar 3rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Sometimes we print things people dont like to read. I guess thats the nature of a newspaper.

Sometimes people dont like what I write; at other times, they dont like what others write that we print.

And ..... 
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Legislative survey doesnt inspire confidence

Fri, Feb 24th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

In todays mail I received a 2006 Legislative Survey from Representative Greg Davids who says he appreciates my opinion. Lets hope he appreciates this.

1.Would you support an effort to use a portion of Minnesotas budget surplu ..... 
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A sustainable environment is not optional

Fri, Feb 17th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A sustainable environmental policy is not optional. By definition if it is not sustainable, the earth as we have known it and the human race cannot live with it long term. To assure the survival of our children it is imperative that we realize our pl ..... 
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On second thought...

Fri, Feb 17th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

That was Minnesotas own Senator Norm Coleman watching the Administrations back in Senate hearings two weeks ago when he went after former FEMA head Michael Brown of youre doing a heck of a job Brownie fame.

Brown testified ..... 
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Desperately seeking new leaders

Fri, Feb 3rd, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Soft spoken, sometimes shy Sagittarius, a compassionate Midwestern middle-aged white male with brown hair and blue eyes, reasonably tall 6 1, 180 pounds (okay 190) country boy with city sophistication, a professional family man who likes travel and ..... 
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Eminent domain reform attracts wide range of legislative support

Fri, Jan 27th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

Eminent domain has risen to the top of hot political issues being discussed since the Kelo vs. New London decision in 2005. There is much confusion surrounding this issue, and I would like to try to clear the air.

The Kelo vs. N ..... 
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