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Thank You Governor Dayton

May 28th, 2011

The Honorable Mark Dayton
Office of Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Dear Governor Dayton:

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your symbolic veto of the proposed ban on marriage equality. Your small gesture really gives me hope that Minnesota will be the first state in the nation to vote down the idea of enshrining intolerance and hate into its constitution.

I really appreciate the fact that you are willing to go to bat for the people of this state when it comes to protecting the families that would be hurt by the passage of this amendment and hope that once we’ve voted it down, you will continue to be a leader in this debate as we progress towards full marriage equality in the state of Minnesota. 

Sincerely,

Terrance Paape
Saint Paul, MN 55105 

 

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Open Letter to the Minnesota State Legislature…

5/21/2011

Minnesota State Legislature
c/o: Speaker Zellers & President Fishbach 
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Saint Paul MN 55155

Re: Passage of SF 1308/HF 1613

Honorable Members of the Legislature,

I am writing to express my deep sadness that you the elected representatives of the state of Minnesota chose to advance what can only be defined as an act of divisive, mean spirited and anti-democratic legislation that if approved by the voters, will enshrine bigotry and hatred in a document designed to protects the citizens of this state.

Tonight, the House’s vote on the proposed amendment sent a very disheartening message to folks like me, who want nothing more than the right to have our relationships legally recognized by the state. While I was listening to the debate, I heard a lot of things, but what really stood out for me was what seemed to be a willingness to abdicate the legislature’s authority to create the laws of this state, something you were elected to do. Hidding behind the excuse that the people should be allowed to vote on this matter is rediculous in my opinion because it violates the very principles established in our federal constitution, and allows for a sub-class of citizenry to be created.

I can only hope that the people of Minnesota see this attempt to amend the constitution for what it really is (a pathetic attempt to gain favoratism with your base).

As someone who has gone through one amendment battle only to see it pass in his home state, I make a promise to you that I will do everything in my power to see this measure doesn’t pass here.

To the 70 Representatives and 38 Senators that voted for the passage of this amendment, you are all on the wrong side of history, and I hope you pay the price by getting swept out of office just like you were swept in this last election.  

Sincerely,


Terrance Paape
Saint Paul, MN 55105 

An Open Letter to the Wisconsin Supreme Court

June 30, 2010

Office of the Justices
16 East State Capitol
PO Box 1688
Madison, WI 53701-1688

Honorable members of the Court,
I am writing this letter to you as a concerned Wisconsin citizen who has just finished reading the Courts opinion on the issue of McConkey v. Van Hollen. While the Court’s ruling makes some very good points about a citizen’s legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of amendments enacted by the State, I fail to see the Court’s argument that the 2006 amendment did not violate the single subject rule set by our State’s constitution. I disagree with the Court on the grounds that the then proposed ballot question was indeed asking voters to vote on two distinctly different subjects, the first defining marriage as solely being the union of one man and one woman. In my personal opinion, that single clause would have been sufficient to achieve the intent of its authors, even though it creates a redundancy in our State’s laws which already establishes marriage as being the union between a husband and a wife (1979 c. 32 s. 48; Stats. 1979 s. 765.01). That being said, this letter is not to argue the definition of marriage or to air my discontent with the people of Wisconsin for passing such an un-American piece of legislation.

Where I depart from the Court’s opinion is the assertion that the second clause of the 2006 proposition fell under the same subject as the first clause (i.e. marriage). The second clause of this proposal when taken at face value does not enhance the intent of the first clause (which is to define who may enter into the contract), instead it asked the voters to decide for future generations of Wisconsinites whether other forms of legal relationship recognition (not marriage) should be recognized by the state. I ask the Court, how does this fall with in the single subject rule? Unless the Court is asserting that civil unions are equal to marriage (which other states have already said aren’t), I find the second half of this opinion highly troubling.

I do have to thank the Court for one thing though… it has helped me make a very tough decision about whether I will return to Wisconsin upon completion of my graduate studies or choose to relocate to another state that places a higher value on treating its citizens equally.

Sincerely,

Terrance Paape

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