Duluth, Minn., Jul 28, 2012 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- “Lawyers for Marriage,” an organization of Minnesota attorneys in support of the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment on the November ballot, has been formed to campaign in support of the amendment.
The organization was formed to be a resource for understanding the legal and social importance of Minnesota’s existing legal definition of marriage.
“There are many important legal issues surrounding the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment,” said Kevin Conneely, chairman of Lawyers for Marriage and an attorney with the Leonard, Street and Deinard law firm. “Unfortunately, there is some confusion about what the amendment will and will not do. Many are also unaware of the Benson v. Alverson case seeking to have Minnesota’s traditional marriage law — the state’s Defense of Marriage Act — struck down.
“The Benson plaintiffs argue that limiting marriage to one man and one woman amounts to bigotry. If the marriage amendment does not pass, and the Benson plaintiffs prevail, those who refuse to acknowledge marriage redefinition will be treated as bigots in law and, increasingly, in the culture.
“Our organization can serve as a resource for the media and the public in understanding the issues and how they impact all Minnesotans.”
The organization of local attorneys will serve as an adjunct to Minnesota for Marriage, the campaign committee leading support for the Marriage Protection Amendment. Other members of the organization’s executive committee include Roger Magnuson of Dorsey & Whitney; Teresa Collett of the University of St. Thomas School of Law; William A. LeMire of Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak and Pikala; and Evan Wilson of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
“We are very pleased to have this distinguished group of attorneys from across the state come together to support the marriage protection amendment,” said Jason Adkins, executive committee member of Minnesota for Marriage and executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
“Legal experts on both sides of the marriage debate acknowledge that, if marriage is redefined, there will be major legal implications for individuals, public and private educators, businesses of all sizes, as well as churches and religious organizations. The new organization of legal experts will play an important role in helping voters understand these issues.”
Conneely said that attorneys across the state are invited to join the organization and to participate in their communities to get out the word about the reason Minnesota needs this constitutional amendment to reinforce what marriage means for all citizens of our state.
Community outreach and speaking events on the legal dimensions of both the marriage amendment and redefining marriage will be the main purpose of the organization, but it is also an opportunity to network with other lawyers who support marriage between one man and one woman. Those attorneys interested in joining can sign up at http://www.minnesotaformarriage.com/lawyers.
Posted with permission from the Northern Cross. Official newspaper for the diocese of Duluth, Minnesota.