Former Vice President Walter Mondale is the co-founder of a new group to challenge a ballot initiative to amend Minnesota’s constitution to ban gay marriage.
The ballot measure, which asks voters to approve that “only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota,” will be decided in November.
Mondale, the vice president during Jimmy Carter’s administration, is working with former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen A. Blatz to rally the legal community against the initiative.
Mondale’s group is called Lawyers United for All Families and it joins the Minnesota State Bar Association and the firms of Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP and Baillon Thome Jozwiak Miller and Wanta LLP in opposing the amendment.
A statement announcing Lawyers United read, “Our constitution is a hard-earned gift from those who preceded us and an enduring promise to those who will follow us. It should be used to protect individual liberty, not to take it away. Constitutions should be amended only to address problems that find no other solution. Therefore, as concerned citizens and members of the legal community, we need to stand up against the efforts to legislate by constitutional amendment.”
The statement, signed by Mondale and Blatz, continued, “In more than 150 years of statehood, Minnesota has enacted many important reforms in the practice and law of marriage. Some of these reforms were controversial and generated considerable debate. Minnesotans of good will may continue to debate the merits of legally recognizing same-sex couples through marriage or some other status. But in its entire history, Minnesota has never preempted the ordinary process of representative government by enshrining one view of family law into its constitution. There is no compelling need to do so now. Regardless of your own opinions on the underlying issue, we should be united in our belief that the proposed constitutional amendment erodes the aspirational ideal that a constitution is foundational to our democracy and it exists to protect the rights of all.”
The group is working with Minnesotans United for All Families against the amendment.
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