I know and have the greatest respect for KathyFoerster, but on the topic of marriage, we do not agree. In her recent letter to the editor of the Winona daily News, she sees marriage as a license to procreate. I see marriage as much more. Our society has granted many legal rights to the relationship represented by contractual marriage. Some are related to procreation – or at least having children – but most are not.

The civil contract, which we call “marriage,” represents a commitment that two people make to “live as one.” The legal favors and rights granted to people who have become married are based upon that concept. Nowhere in the civil marriage contract is there a requirement to procreate.That requirement — which can even be waived under certain extenuating circumstances — is imposed by Kathy’s religion — not by the state of Minnesota.

Kathy also asserts that because marriage is not a right, it can be controlled and limited by the state. She is correct. It can. But all such controls and limitations are rightfully carried out by laws, not by changes to our founding documents. The state’s constitution does not prevent blind people from obtaining a driver’slicense. State laws and regulations do.

The state’s interest in licensing marriage contracts is already quite different from those of the Catholic Church. As a practicing Catholic myself, it is obvious to me that the church wants to impose many of the same rules on society at large that it imposes on those wishing to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony. While it is free to attempt to do so by influencing legislative action affecting state laws and statutes, we cannot allow the church to rewrite the state’s constitution.

We simply must not allow that to happen. I urge everyone regardless of their individual opinions on the issue of same-sex marriage to vote “NO” on this amendment. The constitution is not where such prohibitions should be rooted.