On Friday, the day after the Minnesota House voted to allow same-sex marriage, The Daily Circuit invited responses from two prominent voices in the debate and from listeners and readers. Here's a selection of their comments on the air and via Twitter. For more, read the comments at the end of this article, and leave one of your own.
Jake Loesch, communications director at Minnesotans United for All Families, which supports the legislation: "About two years ago, when Minnesotans first started talking about marriage, I don't think people were ready for the conversation but legislators put it before us with the amendment campaign. People really started sharing their stories, their own family stories and their personal stories about why marriage matters and why their family matters. And I think over the past two years what we've seen is people really come to realize that marriage is about love and commitment and it's about responsibility that two people share, and it's time that we stopped denying that to some people just because of who they are. ...
"Now is the time to do this because there are thousands of real families across the state of Minnesota, real children who are growing up in families headed by same-sex couples that don't have the protections and the opportunities inherent in marriage. When you're looking at the real human cost here, there are people who suffer every day because they don't have the access to marriage and the same freedom to marry as other people do, simply because of who they are. And that's wrong."
Autumn Leva, director of governmental affairs and communications at Minnesotans for Marriage, which opposes the legislation:
"Of course, the amendment campaign to put our current law, marriage between a man and a woman, into the Constitution was unsuccessful. But I disagree with the notion that public opinion has changed. I think what we saw yesterday was a great number of legislators who simply turned their back on their constituents. The best survey you can have is an election. For every 'yes' vote, you know exactly where that person stands — that they are very much in favor of traditional marriage, so much so that they wanted to put that in the Constitution so that the Legislature couldn't turn around and change it on them. You saw many, many legislators yesterday turning their back on their constituents and voting against them, and I think that's a problem. I think that does not show a shift in public opinion, but rather legislators bowing to political pressure instead of what the constituents want and what may be best for Minnesota. ...
"The most important thing to remember is that at least half of Minnesotans still believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. I don't think that's going to go away at all. I think folks are going to continue promoting the good of God's design for marriage and I think we will need to take a closer look at perpetuating the goodness of marriage as between one man and one woman, and perhaps reeducating as to why the state should be involved in marriage. Because it's not about love between two individuals; it's about connecting kids with their parents, and I think we need to get back to that notion."
Janice (on the phone): I'm really devastated, truthfully. I'm Catholic. ... I just feel like God loves everybody, but I don't want to redefine marriage. Marriage is between one man and one woman, or none of us would be here. If people want to have a civil union, or relationship, that's fine. But let's not try to redefine marriage. They're not even speaking about the repercussions for children. And for me, this is like a breakdown of society. I'm a single parent, and I wouldn't wish that on anybody. I needed my brothers to help me raise my two girls. Because they need the balance, male and female, that's the way God made us. Or none of us would be here.
Tom in Minneapolis (on the phone):: I think it's important to look at the marriage vow. Marriage is more than simply one man and one woman or two men and two women. It's about the vows: to love, honor and cherish. ... That's the key part to me of what marriage is about. I'm very happy about what happened yesterday. Reality TV and people like Kim Kardashian, those are the people that are redefining marriage and helping to undermine the sincerity of what marriage is all about.
Mary in Ely (on the phone): I'm Catholic and I'm a Christian and I could not be happier about this bill. I worked on the campaign ... because it's part of Catholic values and Christian values if you really look at it. The Catholic social justice teaching teaches the inherent dignity of every person .... I have gay friends and some of them are raising children and they're doing a wonderful job. And I'm just so happy that Minnesota wants to support that.
.@dailycircuit Please do challenge the term "traditional marriage." It is meaningless -- whose tradition?— Stacey Burns (@WentRogue) May 10, 2013
@dailycircuit as a Christian who believes same sex marriage is right, who has protected me and my faith?This law will.— Kate (@kberghanson) May 10, 2013