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Amendments mischaracterized

November 24, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

In reply to the article "Legislature Should Focus on Legislating":

I agree that the Legislature and governor should work together to balance the budget and carry on the state's business. Where I disagree is in the mischaracterization of the motivation behind the actions of nearly half of our legislature who have been elected by nearly half of our citizens.

Stating the obvious, legislating is making laws. The constitution is a document which sets forth a framework for the laws of our state. Amending the constitution is part of the process of legislating and it is an important part of that process which should not be diminished.

Checks and balances are important in retaining a government of, by, and for the people. If the legislature exercises that right by introducing an amendment it should be commended for putting our governmental system into practice. The phrase "bypassing the governor's veto" holds a negative connotation which diminishes the actions of conscientious members of our legislature as they carried out their intended function.

I do not believe that the purpose of the proposed amendments was chiefly to bypass the governor's veto-or, as some have said, to disenfranchise fellow citizens and selfishly force their views about marriage on others. The Voter ID Amendment was about protecting the integrity of our vote. The Marriage Protection Amendment was about preserving an institution which has been the bedrock of our society for generations.

Both of those amendments were supported by many Minnesotans all over our state. Many other Minnesotans, supported by a tremendous amount of money and manpower from non-Minnesotans, worked to defeat these amendments and were successful. Now all Minnesotans will live with the outcome of November's election. The future will tell how the decisions of our November election will impact our lives, as well as the lives of our children. I believe its effects will include economical ones but will be much further-reaching than that.

It is certainly time now to move on and work together. As we do, let's not mischaracterize the motives of those with whom we disagree.

Mary Thom

New Ulm



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