In Minnesota, marriage as we know it is at stake

  • Article by: KATHERINE KERSTEN
  • Updated: March 9, 2013 - 4:32 PM

Even concepts like ‘mother,’ ‘father’ are threatened by activist onslaught.

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a6699fMar. 9, 13 4:59 PM

Katherine, my marriage isn't 100% perfect, bit it is stable. If the Legislature does indeed pass, and the governor signs, a bill leagalizing same-sex marriage, I am positive that neither my beloved spouse nor I will dump 30+ years of our lives together and go rushing off to fulfill any non-existent fantasies of marrying someone of the same sex. Frankly, I don't care who marries whom, and don't understand why you should, either. Perhaps if you could rationally explain what it is that you find so offensive (other than thinking about it is "icky," that is) and how a same-sex couple endangers either your well-being or threatens your own marriage, I, and many others, might be more inclilned to feel somewhat sympathetic to your cause. Until then, and I'm willing to bet that even if you can come up with logical reasons for your fears, the sky will remain unfallen, the sun will still offer the illusion of rising every morning, the moon will still orbit the earth, the birds will sing, and the flowers will continue to bloom. And yes, Minnesota will continue being a wonderful place to live and thrive.

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twspt7Mar. 9, 13 5:11 PM

"Most important: Redefining marriage as a unisex institution would decisively delink marriage from procreation and child-rearing in the public’s mind" Among the many laughable assertions put forth by Ms Kersten concerning the evolving nature of the concept of marriage, this one is the biggest whopper. Perhaps a feudal lord, worried about producing a heir, ranks child bearing as the "most important" factor in a decision to marry or not, but I'd say the vast majority of the rest of us here in Minnesota marry because we have fallen in love with another and wish to spend the rest of our life with this person. If the feeling is mutual, the marriage has a chance to succeed; if not, no amount of children is going to make the marriage any more palatable for those so joined, for a loveless marriage is a "marriage" in name only. Further, as has been noted countless times during the marriage amendment debate, what about marriages to those who do not plan to have children? This marriage arrangement has been around for as long as any other, yet one notes the dramatic lack of negative consequences concerning the concept of marriage emanating from it's existence. Yes Ms Kersten, it would appear that marriage as YOU know it is at stake, and the "problem" lies with your narrow, rigid, cold and calculating ideal of what a marriage actually is.

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greg62Mar. 9, 13 5:16 PM

We should preserve traditional marriage for the sake of the children. I don't have a problem with civil unions however, just with calling these unions "marriage".

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windigolakeMar. 9, 13 5:19 PM

" marital norms based on male-female complementarity — like sexual exclusivity and permanence — no longer make sense, or at best become optional." For a majority of heterosexual marriages, lack of sexual exclusivity or permanence are, in fact, options that one or both spouses engage in. Upwards of 50% of marriages end in divorce and more than 50% experience infidelity (I admit there is substantial crossover in these statistics). To claim that homosexual marriage will jeopardize these "norms" requires that they be "norms" in the first place. Since they are not, KK's whole argument lacks factual underpinning and like most of her other tirades, collapses under the weight of its own fallacies. Maybe it's time to joust at other windmills, Katherine. You've backed this losing horse far too long.

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okaybruceMar. 9, 13 5:30 PM

Well said, Kersten. Also, a6699f, as Dr. Robert George and others have pointed out, same-sex relationships are nothing more than friendships and actually are nothing like real marriages. In fact, it really is an apple to orange like comparison. Until you can answer his objections, which are ours as well, we will continue to oppose you and refuse to recognize your relationships as marriages.

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RandiReitanMar. 9, 13 5:57 PM

Katherine, our marriage of 40 years has been wonderful. So wonderful, I want all my children to have a chance at that happiness. I also know that our marriage has been a firm foundation for us as a couple and also a firm foundation to raise our 4 children. Our 3 oldest have found love with dear ones and have married. Our youngest is gay and he was the best man at each of his siblings weddings. As joyous as those days were for me as the mother, it was hard to see our gay son participate and rejoice in something that was denied to him. Our whole family has worked to see the day he also has the freedom to marry. It is important to us because we know the blessing marriage as been for us. We can't imagine denying others what we hold dear. As I get older, I also think of the day I will no longer be here and I want all my children in loving families. I want them to always have someone to love and someone they will love in return. Please remember the joy you have found in your marriage and try hard to understand how sad it would be to deny others the joy and the stability that are the blessings in marriage.

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mandansmomMar. 9, 13 6:14 PM

"It binds fathers to mothers and the children their sexual union creates. This bond is crucial to children’s well-being — and to society’s future"

If you read your Old Testament, you will find that marriage bonded father to father and served the purpose of defining heirs. Married men regularly procreated with slaves and or members of other tribes. In my own lifetime, inter-racial marriages were once illegal. This mystical "bond" of father to mother probably never really existed in the way KK portrays it.

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mandansmomMar. 9, 13 6:25 PM

We have been married over 25 years, and KK's assertion that bearing children is the most important contributor to our bond is flat-out silly. Perhaps because we didn't have children for the first seven years, we have a host of other shared life experiences. We love our children, to be sure, but had they never come, we'd still be a strong couple.

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pumiceMar. 9, 13 6:55 PM

More of Ms. Kersten's patented fear-mongering. This time in an attempt to persuade Minnesotans that proponents of marriage equality did not put the lie to Ms. Kersten's misapprehensions about sex and gender. One can only hope that Ms. Kersten's plea to "let the conversation begin" will leave her readers re-reading to find what new idea(s) she is offering. Hint: none, her litany is tired and was rejected.

The "reason [any consenting adults] stay together" is commitment between two people who love one another exclusively. Serial monogamy cannot be laid at the doorstep of same-sex marriage. Nor can her fear that the "logic for limiting marriage to two people — or even to people in sexual relationship" will disappear can be laid at the doorstep of same-sex marriage. A lot of Biblical "begats" were the fruit of polygamy. The "prominent commentators calling for government to 'get out of the marriage business'" (including Ms. Kersten and her ilk) made that call prior to November 6th. And Ms. Kersten's fears about the welfare of children raised without regard to "different and complementary qualities" which men and women bring to child-rearing has also been laid to rest. Research shows that children do best when nurtured by two loving, committed parents. "Mother" and "father" are, indeed, a function of biology, but "parenting" is a function of love and commitment. In concluding, Ms. Kersten regurgitates her delinking-marriage-from-procreation-will-accelerate-the-fraying-of-marriage-culture argument. For centuries, women were fruitful and multiplied, wore themselves out and often died in childbirth. When much of the Earth is filled to overflowing, love and commitment are as important as procreation.

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kd5757Mar. 9, 13 7:07 PM

The following organizations have come out either in support of same-sex marriage and/or in support of equal parenting rights for same sex couples in the areas of adoption and co-parenting: American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Sociological Association, American Anthropological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Medical Association, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of Social Workers, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children. I think these professional organizations know a little more about the effects same-sex marriage will have on society and children then some religious zealot that only has fear-mongering in her intellectual arsenal.

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