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Carleton Responds to Petition to Oppose Marriage Amendment

A petition started by alumni and friends of Carleton College asks the school to publicly oppose the proposed Minnesota marriage amendment.

A petition started last week from and friends of  urges the school to publicly oppose 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.

The petition reads:

We, the undersigned alumni and friends of Carleton College, call on Carleton College to take an official and public stance opposing the proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution. The proposed amendment would limit the status of marriage to opposite sex couples. 

We believe that this issue is one of civil and human rights and respect, not simply a matter of political opinion. Carleton has a long standing commitment to maintaining a LGBT-friendly community. Carleton should continue supporting LGBT individuals, by publicly opposing the proposed constitutional amendment.

We support those Minnesotans and Americans who want the same rights, freedoms, opportunity, respect, dignity, legal protections and legal opportunities as every other one of their fellow citizens.

After an inquiry from Patch, Eric Sieger, director of media relations for Carleton, released the following statement:

We’re proud of our record of being an inclusive, supportive community, and we clearly value the personal choices and commitments of every member of the Carleton family.

Carleton fulfills its mission and lives up to its aspirations by educating our students about issues that impact our society and encouraging our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to think, speak, and act as individuals on the basis of their informed convictions.  While the College may on occasion take public positions on educational issues where we have special expertise to offer that is necessary to illuminate a wider debate (e.g., affirmative action, financial aid programs for underprivileged students), we do not take political stances on social issues that do not involve our core educational mission. 

In June, more than  at Carleton's  in support of , an effort to defeat the proposed amendment.

As of Monday morning, the petition had about 300 signatures. A Facebook group called Carleton Alumni for Marriage Equality has also started.

A group called has also started a petition in general opposition to the marriage amendment. 

Both petitions come on the heels of Augsburg College last week publicly opposing the marriage amendment.

Augsburg College, a private Minneapolis liberal arts college associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was the second higher educational institution in Minnesota to publicly oppose the marriage amendment, according to Minnesotans United for All Families. The school, which has an enrollment of 4,000 students, joined Capella University, which publicly opposed the amendment last month.

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