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Letter: Don’t base same-sex marriage law on whims of public opinion

On June 6, seven couples in North Dakota filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage. North Dakota is the last state in the country to be sued by gay couples seeking the right to marry.

In a recent article, state Rep. Joshua Boschee, D-Fargo, stated that “there’s evidence of a demand for same-sex marriage in the Fargo-Moorhead area.” He goes on to say that there are families in North Dakota “that want to be recognized.” Does their need to be “recognized” nullify North Dakota’s constitution?

Boschee thinks it’s because public opinion has changed in recent years. Dave Lanpher, who chairs the Fargo Human Relations Commission, said that any judge ruling on this issue will likely take public opinion into consideration. Lanpher said he expects a challenge to the North Dakota law soon because, as he says, “the times, they are a-changing.”

If Boschee and Lanpher are correct, then public opinion should always be considered in determining constitutional rights. Since public opinion keeps changing, then constitutional laws must also change. The people of North Dakota have voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Shouldn’t the people of North Dakota have the right to decide what’s best for their state?

Federal judges have ruled that same-sex marriage bans in many states discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, violating the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Their opinions are based on personal liberty, equality and a “fundamental” right to marry. Yet these same judges ignore the most precious right we have, the fundamental right to life.

The lines between truth and falsehood have become blurred in today’s society. When we try to shape the truth to fit “public opinion” the truth becomes deception. The people of North Dakota voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman 10 years ago. Does defining marriage really violate the U.S. Constitution? Is the people’s vote no longer relevant? Should a minority have the final say?

Sims lives in Moorhead. Same-sex marriage is legal in Minnesota.