Staying true to what I learned from my husband, Gary Kubly, when he was in the Legislature, I will be voting no on both constitutional amendments on the ballot this November.
The voter ID amendment will be an easy no. This is an expensive fix for a problem that is very uncommon in Minnesota. Contrary to all the hype, there was no evidence of fraud that would have changed the outcome in the close Senate race that was won by Al Franken. Gary learned this from a justice (Republican appointee) on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
If the amendment passes it will be an expensive burden which would fall heavily on rural counties and especially townships. In addition it will hardest to implement for the elderly, the disabled, college students and the poor. Do we want to deprive these people of their right to vote?
The marriage amendment is not so easy. As a Lutheran pastor, Gary voted for the Defense of Marriage bill in the late 1990s. This put the traditional definition of marriage into Minnesota law.
However in the years that followed, Gary saw this issue become completely politicized by groups spreading hate and fear. Threatening e-mails and nasty phone calls were not uncommon. Hateful signs at rallies at the Capitol were a shocking sight.
The issue has been used to divide people rather than to promote the sanctity of marriage. As Gary said after much soul-searching about this, "I will never vote to put hate on the Minnesota constitution." Following his example, I too will vote no.
Gary's hope would be that people come together in dialogue. We need much more peaceful dialogue before we pass amendments such as these.