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Northfield City Council Passes Resolution Opposing 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.

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.

Watch video of the meeting.

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.

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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
Corey Butler Jr. October 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Here are some comments on our Facebook page: Megan Kraby I'm confused as to why entities such as the city of Northfield and Carleton and companies are "voting" on this issue when it is a state constitutional question? I'm assuming it's symbolic? JoAnn Eaton What a total waste of time. Kathy Phillipsen Yeah, I don't get it either. Hum. Kent Koester It's because these people think their bigger than they really are Kathy. Lets worry about important issues like getting some jobs into this town that pay more than 8 bucks an hour. Theres a novel idea NO???
Corey Butler Jr. October 03, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Kristie 'Hill' Rimpila I believe EQUAL RIGHTS Is an Important Issue??!! And Northfield is a small town in comparison, I lived there for twenty years and never had a job that paid well, so I drive to Lakeville for work.. big deal? No. It's all about the population..Now if I would have applied for a job that paid better in Nfld and had been denied because of my sexual preference.. that would be considered discrimination correct?! Apparently not to some. This amendment takes away freedoms that everyone should be entitled to!! Think about it! How would you like it if someone took yours away? The council's voting on this may be symbolic yes, but good for them!! I also choose to oppose the marriage amendment and it will be a sad day to call myself a Minnesotan if it passes.. Ricardo Mendoza Smith I just dont understand WHY people or company's pet there business into peoples personal lives?? what they do behind closed doors is no ones business but there own... I believe if every person would mind there own personal issues to them selves and stay out of others, This world would be a much better place.
Corey Butler Jr. October 03, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Adriana Estill I agree with Kristie--when it comes to issues of civil rights (which this amendment threatens), I believe we all have a responsibility. And that responsibility doesn't just include voting on our own but also making sure that, in the face of discrimination, prejudice, and intolerance, there are communities willing to take collective stands. So I'm immensely proud of St. Olaf's faculty, Carleton's faculty, all the other colleges of the state that have taken a stand (Gustavus, Macalester, etc), all the businesses that have announced their opposition (including General Mills, Thomson Reuters, Orion Corp, and more than 50 others), and all the cities that have done so (Northfield joins Mankato, Roseville, and 12 others). Kristie 'Hill' Rimpila Exactly :) In order to live in a world without Hate, We must create it! Both of My daughter's haven't been told anything other than Everyone is Equal.. Why should we Teach them anything else?? Love is Love. Why some people choose to believe differently makes me sick to my stomach, they are the very reason Discrimination, Prejudice, and even Bullying exists! Remember Once upon a time Interracial marriage was also Illegal.. Why? Because people were afraid! What are people afraid of?!!!

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