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Editorial: Marriage amendment inspires action

On Sunday afternoon a group of nearly 200 Dakota County residents gathered to kick off a countywide effort to defeat a constitutional amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriage in Minnesota. It is the first such county-level gathering held in conjunction with a group called Minnesotans United for All Families, and it will be used as a template for future campaign launches around the state.

That is a testament to the Dakota County residents who stepped forward to get things organized. There is a core group of active residents, including several from Farmington, who are fighting for a cause in which they believe strongly.

There will almost certainly be more such efforts as we move closer to November, on either side of the issue. This amendment, which if approved would serve to bolster a current law against same-sex marriage, has already inspired strong opinions, and those opinions are only likely to get stronger as election day approaches.

Ultimately, groups like the one that came together Sunday can have a significant impact on this election, pro and con. It is the people who are most passionate about this issue whose stories will carry the most weight.

It's people like Timothy Finke, a 20-year-old Farmington resident who came out to his parents when he was 14 and found little support outside of his home until he found a group at Light of the World Church who accepted him as he was.

Finke, one of the group's early organizers, said he's fighting to preserve his own right to marry someday.

Whether you support or oppose this amendment, this is an important time to be active. This is too important an issue for the people who are affected to remain silent.