The Northfield City Council on Tuesday cast a symbolic 5-0-1 vote passing a resolution opposing the proposed Minnesota marriage amendment.
On Nov. 6, Minnesotans will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman—which would limit marriage to opposite sex couples.
Supporting the resolution were Councilors Betsey Buckheit, Ivan Imm, Suzie Nakasian, Erica Zweifel and Mayor Mary Rossing. Northfield is short its seventh councilor because Patrick Ganey resigned from his seat last month.
Councilor Rhonda Pownell abstained from voting, saying that every voter will have their voice heard next month on Election Day.
"This amendment is being brought before the people," she said. "We all, as individuals, are being given the opportunity to vote."
Pownell said she doesn't feel government entities, like cities or counties, or the people who represent them, like city councils and county boards, should influence a vote.
"I don't believe this should be at our dais," she told the council.
Northfield became the 14th city council to pass a resolution opposing the proposed amendment.
After some discussion, an amendment to the originally proposed resolution was made by Nakasian to remove wording that urged voters to vote no on the amendment. Instead, it was changed to state that the proposed amendment contradicts the opening preamble of the Northfield City Charter.
Nakasian told Patch that the proposed amendment warrants a sober response from everyone.
"But in the end, it's beyond our responsibility as elected representatives to tell residents how they should vote, or what they should believe. Our responsibility, and our sworn duty, is to uphold and protect our city charter, and the constitutions—state and federal—with which it accords.
"The charter's preamble is clear in its unequivocal assertion against all forms of discrimination—a vote for this amendment would contradict that founding assertion. I am glad that our Council did not shrink from its responsibility but rather brought our charter into the discussion."
Here's the resolution:
Whereas the Northfield City Charter opens with the preamble that “no person in the City of Northfield shall, on the grounds of age, race, color, creed, sex, religion, national origin, marital status or status with regard to public assistance or disability be subjected to discrimination in any form,"
Be it resolved that the City Council of Northfield opposes the proposed Constitutional amendment entitled “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman” on the grounds that the proposed amendment contradicts the opening preamble of the Northfield City Charter which we are sworn to uphold."
The council's approved resolution came one day after the Carleton College faculty approved its own resolution opposing the amendment. The St. Olaf College faculty passed a similar resolution in August.
More marriage amendment posts on Northfield Patch
- Carleton College Faculty Opposes Minnesota Marriage Amendment
- Marriage Amendment: Should the Northfield City Council Oppose It?
- St. Olaf Faculty Opposes Minnesota Marriage Amendment
- Carleton Responds to Petition to Oppose Marriage Amendment
- Alumni Petition Carleton College to Oppose Marriage Amendment
- Minnesota Companies that Oppose the Marriage Amendment
- Minnesota Companies that Support the Marriage Amendment
- Just Food Co-op Signs as Coalition Partner with Minnesotans United for All Families
- POLL: Do You Approve Of The Marriage Amendment's Ballot Title?
- Why I Am Voting Yes for the Minnesota Marriage Amendment
- A Legacy—A Poem Opposing the Minnesota Marriage Amendment
- The Soul of the Thing
- One Reason I Oppose the Marriage Amendment: The Children
- For the Sake of Minnesota's Constitution—JUST VOTE NO!
- VIDEO: Rice County Group Launches Campaign Against MarriageAmendment
- PHOTOS: Rice County Group Launches Campaign Against Marriage Amendment