An Emphatic No! Roseville Commission Opposes Marriage Amendment
Commission chairman calls measure "un-American."
The Roseville Human Rights Commission on Wednesday night went on record opposing the proposed state constitutional Marriage Amendment.
In an unanimous vote, the commissioners adopted a resolution that opposes the Marriage Amendment,(wording included in the latest Human Rights meeting packet materials) which is scheduled to go to Minnesota voters this November. If approved, the amendment would codify in the Minnesota constitution and legally define marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
In their resolution, the commissioners said they are urging voters to cast a No vote on the ballot, contending that if the measure is approved it "would have a direct negative impact on Roseville's community." Specifically, the commissoners asserted the Marriage Amendment would "deny equal protection of the law to certain families, decrease the sense of communtiy and will not ensure that our city government and its activities, programs and services are accessible, understandable and responsive to all."
The commission added, "Our city benefits in proportion to its efforts to ensure cultural and familial diversity and maintain an environment in which all individuals feel welcome and safe."
Commission Chairman Gary Grefenberg lauded his colleagues' stand, calling the proposed Marriage Amendment "un-American. For me, the amendment is fear of the unknown."
The commission is also urging the Roseville City Council to adopt a similar resolution. While it stressed that it is not speaking for the city or the citizens of Roseville, the commission took its stand after conducting an open forum on the issue last week that drew a crowd of about 80 people.
Of those attending, 30 citizens spoke out against the Marraige Amendment, six spoke in favor of it and one was netutral, Grefenberg said Wednesday night.
Some people questioned whether the commission should take a position on the issue.
But the commissioners said it was appropriate for them to address the Marriage Amendment because the city has established a Human Rights Commission "whose purpose is to secure for all citizens equal opportunity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services and education and full participations in the affairs of the community."
However, in opposing the Marriage Amendment, the commissioners said they chose not to get involved in religious arguments either for or against the proposed measure.
"Inserting, the HRC into that debate is not reasonably related to our purpose as defined in city code," commissioner Jill Brisbois said, on a behalf of a sub-committee that drafted the commission's resolution.
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