Minn. voters determine gay marriage rights




Five-hundred and fifty-two Augustana students are facing an extra choice alongside the presidential dilemma come November.

Minnesota voters will see an option for a constitutional amendment on the issue of same-sex marriage.  The measure, if approved, will define marriage in Minnesota as only existing between one man and one woman.

With 32 percent of fulltime students hailing from Minnesota, according to Joni Krueger of the registrar’s office, the amendment holds some importance for Augustana students.

Sophomore Jordan Dobrowski, an anthropology and religion major of Burnsville, Minn., opposes the amendment.  She believes same-sex marriage should be legal in her home state.  Furthermore, she doesn’t think marriage should be a state issue.

“The state shouldn’t say you can’t marry these people,” Dobrowski said, pointing out the state wouldn’t demand anyone be married.

Dobrowski recently voted against the amendment by absentee ballot, despite coming from a family who strongly supports the amendment.

“For them, it’s laid out black-and-white,” she said.  She says a good portion of their justification is based on religion.  They believe the sanctity of marriage needs to be preserved, and allowing marriage between two men or two women may bring about other unfavorable abuses of the institution.

The amendment will appear on the ballot under the wording Amendment 1: Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman following the option of “Yes” or “No”.

Marking “Yes” agrees to define marriage as existing between opposite sexes, while marking no and choosing not to vote on the amendment count against the amendment, leaving marriage undefined.

To get an amendment on the ballot, the amendment must be approved by both bodies of the Minnesota State Legislature.  Senate File 1308 was approved by the senate, and, following approval by the house, was placed on the ballot for 2012.

Gov. Mark Dayton symbolically vetoed the proposed changed, but a governor’s signature is not required on constitutional amendments in Minnesota.

Nov. 6 is Election Day.

Augustana students looking to vote can find instructions on how to register and receive absentee ballots at countmore.org.

Absentee ballots can allow students from Minnesota to be heard on the amendment while remaining on campus.