HCBA Board Adopts "Call to Action" in Opposition to Amending the Constitution to Ban Same-Sex Marriage.
At its March 13, 2012, meeting, the HCBA Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution that calls upon members to "take deliberate and meaningful action to defeat the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would ban marriage for same-sex couples; specifically, HCBA members are urged to speak with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the need to oppose this constitutional amendment, and to become involved in organized efforts to defeat the amendment, such as those coordinated by the group Minnesotans United for All Families."
Please contact HCBA Executive Director Mary-Margaret Zindren at 612-752-6610 or email@example.com with any questions regarding the Board's action.
Want to stay informed about this issue?
HCBA members, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name to the distribution group that will receive email updates from the HCBA relating to defeating the Constitutional Amendment.
Related documents and resources:
View HCBA "Call to Action" Resolution.
View/print HCBA "Call to Action" resolution as a PDF.
Minnesotans United for All Families: This is a broad coalition of organizations and community and business leaders who have joined to defeat the amendment which would ban marriage for same-sex couples in Minnesota.
Lawyers United for All Families: This is the legal community's group that is working with Minnesotans United for All Families. This effort is mobilizing within law firms, in-house legal departments, and academic and public institutions across the state to defend the ideals of the legal profession.
News Release: Former Vice President of the United States Walter F. Mondale and Former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen A. Blatz pen letter opposing the proposed marriage amendment. View release.
Hennepin County Bar Association Board of Directors Resolution
- Adopted March 13, 2012 -
“Call to Action” in Opposition to Amending the
Minnesota State Constitution to Ban Same-Sex Marriage
WHEREAS, the bedrock of the legal profession is equal justice under the law;
WHEREAS, opposing discrimination is core to the purpose of the Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) -- the Articles of Incorporation of the HCBA state that the association "shall actively oppose discrimination, on the basis of ...sexual orientation or preference;" and the mission of the HCBA states that the association “shall strive to ensure the fairness and accessibility of the legal system (and) promote public understanding and confidence in our system of justice..;”
WHEREAS, the HCBA strongly supports diversity and inclusiveness within the legal profession and the broader community -- the mission of the HCBA includes “advancing…diversity…within the legal profession;” the current strategic plan of the HCBA states, “The commitment to diversity is…a core value that must inform all functions of the HCBA;" and the Diversity Committee of the HCBA actively works for greater diversity in the Bar and against discrimination of any groups of people;
WHEREAS, in November 2012, Minnesotans will vote on the following proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota;"
WHEREAS, the HCBA has a long history of supporting the rights of same-sex couples -- in 2004, the HCBA Board of Directors passed a resolution opposing “any effort to amend the Minnesota Constitution to forbid the creation of legally-recognized relationships between persons of the same sex,” and further opposed any effort to amend the United States Constitution to incorporate the same restriction; and in 2010, the HCBA Board of Directors passed a resolution urging “the Minnesota Legislature to permit same-sex couples access to civil marriage…while preserving the constitutional freedom of religious institutions and their personnel to participate in or support, or refrain from participating in or supporting, civil marriage;”
WHEREAS, a constitutional, statutory or regulatory definition of marriage grants and provides to married couples certain and many legal, financial, and social rights and opportunities, and whereas the limitation of the definition of marriage to unions of a man and woman would prohibit married unions of couples of the same sex, thus depriving them of those certain and many legal, financial, and social rights and opportunities;
WHEREAS, the Minnesota Constitution, the majestic charter of our great State, was intended by the Founders to be amended, if at all, only as and when absolutely necessary;
WHEREAS, it is the view of the HCBA Board of Directors that our Minnesota Constitution, the majestic charter of our great State, should be amended, if at all, only so as to protect, enhance and improve the lives and of our citizens, and only so as to protect and expand the equal and human rights of our citizens, when such rights might be involved or implicated, and not to diminish or prohibit or restrict such rights; and
WHEREAS, it is further the view of the HCBA Board of Directors that passage of the proposed amendment would create a significant barrier to the ability of same-sex couples to gain equal justice in the state of Minnesota, would set back for decades Minnesota’s efforts at becoming a more diverse and welcoming state, and would severely reduce Minnesota's ability to attract and retain gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender attorneys, gravely impacting the legal community and the quality of legal representation provided to Minnesotans.
Therefore, be it RESOLVED that the HCBA Board of Directors calls upon its members to take deliberate and meaningful action to defeat the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would ban marriage for same-sex couples; specifically, HCBA members are urged to speak with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the need to oppose this constitutional amendment, and to become involved in organized efforts to defeat the amendment, such as those coordinated by the group Minnesotans United for All Families.