The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 3, 2012

Your View: Remove marriage as a government function

Rob Swart, Mankato

— I will be voting “no” on the constitutional amendment to put a religious sectarian position into the Minnesota Constitution.

Many religious views are reflected in our laws and government. The ones that are there have broad support across the broad spectrum our religious institutions represent. The close vote in the Minnesota Legislature on this issue does not reflect that.

Many branches of our religious diversity do not reflect that position. Some take the opposite view. Marriage is a religious function. Our government should not be involved. No more than it is involved in baptisms or Bar Mitzvah.

Many Americans choose to live and have kids without marriage. Most of those children turn out just fine. Kids with traditional families can also be troubled.

The success and failure of my marriage was the product of only the two people involved. Only a fool would try to shift blame to a outside source.

Heterosexual marriage and divorce do not show any negative effects in the states where same sex marriage is now legal. All of this push is coming from a political party that has endorsed a candidate for president whose family history flies in the face of this proposal.

Our political system has endured because we have tried to separate religion and our secular government. Those who warn that without this a priest or pastor will be required to violate their religious beliefs is simply a lie.

The prime example is our Amish community. No one has tried to force them to drive cars, and they do not seek laws forcing the rest of us to return to the horse and buggy era.

Return marriage to the religious leaders and remove it as a government function.