A state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman has plenty of momentum to be passed by Minnesota voters in November, but pro-homosexual activists and their supporters have been pulling out all the stops to thwart the amendment's passage. One of those efforts was halted August 27 when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie “erred and exceeded his authority” when he took the liberty of retitling the ballot initiative, changing the wording from that approved by the state legislature.
Amendment supporters filed a lawsuit after Ritchie changed the title that was to appear on the ballot from the approved wording, “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman,” to the more negative phrasing, “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.”
The state high court ordered that the original title — approved by a bipartisan vote of 201 Minnesota lawmakers as a neutral and accurate description of the initiative to be considered by voters — be reinstated on the upcoming ballot.
“Minnesotans deserve to have free and fair elections, and they deserve to know precisely what they are voting for,” said Jordan Lorence of Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal advocacy group that represented a number of legislators and others in the suit. “Because the Legislature wrote a ballot title for the marriage amendment, no official in the executive branch has any authority to replace or modify that title — especially not with one that incorrectly describes the amendment’s effect.” Lorence said that voters “have the right to know that the amendment is designed to protect the ‘recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman,’ as the legislature accurately specified.”
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Photo: Minnesota State Capitol, Supreme Court Chamber