The Carleton College faculty will discuss the proposed Minnesota marriage amendment next week at its first faculty meeting of the year.
Patch last week reported that the Carleton faculty was considering putting the matter on its agenda and possibly voting to support or oppose it at its Oct. 1 meeting.
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.
Attention turned to the east side of the Cannon River after St. Olaf College’s faculty last month took a symbolic vote to oppose the amendment.
Now that the issue is on the Carleton faculty agenda, it will be handled in two stages, said Faculty President Clara Hardy.
First, there would be a discussion to determine whether a vote is appropriate. If the faculty deems it inappropriate, the issue would be dropped. If faculty members consider it appropriate, then they would vote on a resolution opposing the amendment.
Hardy, who personally opposes the amendment, said the biggest challenge is if the faculty, as a whole, should be making statements about the marriage amendment, voter ID and other issues that affect campus.
Separating the appropriateness of the vote from faculty members’ feelings about the marriage amendment issue is “what makes the debate difficult,” Hardy said.
“There are a lot of faculty who feel pretty strongly that if the faculty were to take a position it would exclude positions of viewpoints” in classrooms, she said. “We, as a faculty, need to maintain neutrality and need to foster critical thinking about things rather than giving the right answer.”
Vote No Support
The "Vote No" movement has been growing in Northfield since June when more than 250 people gathered at Carleton's Weitz Center for Creativity in support of Rice County Votes No, an effort to defeat the proposed amendment.
Petitions have since popped up on both campuses opposing the amendment.
A group of alumni from Carleton College is petitioning the college to take a stand against the issue. That petition has collected 330 signatures. There's also a Facebook group called Carleton Alumni for Marriage Equality supporting the effort.
The college will not take a stance on the issue.
Eric Sieger, director of media relations for Carleton, told Patch "we clearly value the personal choices and commitments of every member of the Carleton family ... (but) we do not take political stances on social issues that do not involve our core educational mission."
Following the St. Olaf faculty vote, Minnesotans United for All Families released the following statement:
Each time a city, faculty, business or community of faith speaks out against this amendment it sparks conversations all across the state about what marriage means and who should have the freedom to participate in it. We are proud to see more and more Minnesotans say that they will treat all people the way they want to be treated, instead of singling out same-sex couples and excluding them from the freedom to marry.
More marriage amendment posts on Northfield Patch
- Carleton Faculty Considering Vote on Minnesota Marriage Amendment
- 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