Approved by the: University Senate - May 3, 2012
Administration - no action required*
Board of Regents - no action required

*The administration has received and acknowledges the sense of the University Senate.


Resolution on the Proposed Minnesota Constitutional Amendment on Marriage

The University Senate of the University of Minnesota, composed of faculty, staff, and student representatives, opposes the amendment to the State of Minnesota's constitution to "provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota."1 The adoption of such a provision would directly discriminate against (and thus perpetuate the stigmatization of) persons who identify with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community, and by enshrining that deprivation of rights in the state constitution would make it unacceptably difficult for those individuals to achieve the same rights, freedoms, respect, legal protections, and legal opportunities as heterosexual couples. The amendment is detrimental to the interests of the University of Minnesota and its faculty, staff, and students. The Senate therefore:

  1. Encourages all members of the University community to take a stance in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment.
  2. Encourages all members of the University community to engage in "teach in" activities to educate one another and the public on this issue.
  3. Urges Minnesota citizens to reject deliberate and overt discrimination by voting against the proposed constitutional amendment.

COMMENT:

On November 6, 2012, the people of Minnesota will be voting on whether or not to amend the state constitution to "provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota."1 The Student Senate has already passed a similar resolution on the proposed amendment and Committees of the University Senate (Equity, Access, and Diversity, Social Concerns, and Senate Consultative) endorse its position and move the above resolution for the University Senate.

In making their decision, the committees considered:

(1) The mission statement of the University of Minnesota, which states that in the exchange of ideas it is imperative to "provide an atmosphere of mutual respect, free from racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice and intolerance"2; and,

(2) The Board of Regents policy, which states, "[a]s a community of faculty, staff, and students engaged in research, scholarship, artistic activity, teaching and learning, or the activities that support them, the University seeks to foster an environment that is diverse, humane, and hospitable. . . . The University shall establish and nurture an environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors that actively acknowledges and values equity and diversity and is free from racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and other forms of prejudice, intolerance, or harassment."3
.

1 http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/mngov/constitutionalamendments.aspx
2 http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/history-mission/index.html
3 http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies/administrative/Equity_Diversity_EO_AA.html

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