Representative Phyllis Kahn knows a bit about marriage and divorce. She’s been married for decades and helped write Minnesota’s no-fault divorce laws many years ago. Kahn is concerned that the simple language of a Republican backed anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment could play havoc with Minnesota’s divorce laws.
The proposed amendment defines marriage in Minnesota as between “one man and one woman.” However, as Kahn points out, it says nothing about “sequential marriages” and needs language to the effect of saying “one man and one woman at one time.”
Constitutional amendment author Representative Steve Gottwalt objected to Kahn’s question, saying the committee that was hearing this bill was supposed to be focused upon fiscal impact. Kahn replied that since she helped write the no-fault divorce law, she knows that doing anything to void it could have very serious financial implications.
Gottwalt didn’t answer Kahn’s objections, and committee chair Representative Mary Liz Holberg argued that no additional language was needed in the constitutional amendment because state law already outlaws polygamy.
Ironically, that is the same argument opponents of the anti-gay constitutional amendment have been using: same-sex marriage is already against Minnesota state law.