Hennepin County Court Case to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Demonstrates the Need for Marriage Protection Amendment

Hennepin County Court Case to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
Demonstrates the Need for Marriage Protection Amendment

Like Iowa, Benson v. Chapin case seen as vehicle to use the courts to force same-sex marriage on all Minnesotans without a vote of the people

Minneapolis – On Friday, September 14th at 9:00 A.M., the Benson v. Chapin case will continue its proceedings through the Hennepin County District Court with a motions hearing. The case began when three same-sex couples decided to use the courts to force same-sex marriage on all Minnesota by suing Hennepin County Registrar, Jill Alverson, for refusing to grant them marriage licenses since Minnesota statutes define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Benson v. Chapin illustrates exactly why we need the Marriage Protection Amendment in Minnesota,” said Autumn Leva, Minnesota for Marriage Spokeswoman. “The case is nearly identical factually to the Varnum v. Brien case through which the Iowa Supreme Court forced same-sex marriage on Iowans without a vote of the people in 2009.”

In Varnum, six same-sex couples sued an Iowa county recorder for refusing to issue them marriage licenses since Iowa state law at the time also defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Like Minnesota, polling showed that a strong majority of Iowans agreed with this definition of marriage.

The case reached the Iowa Supreme Court where the justices invalidated the state’s marriage laws and redefined marriage for all Iowans without a vote of the people – thus ending the discussion. Three of those justices later lost their bids for re-election to the Court due in large part to their ruling in Varnum—and Iowans never had the chance to voice their opinion in the matter.

“The Marriage Protection Amendment will prevent the Minnesota judiciary from using the Benson v. Chapin case as a vehicle to change the definition of marriage in Minnesota—without a vote from the people—just as Varnum v. Brien was in Iowa.

The Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment keeps Minnesotans involved in the conversation about marriage. It simply takes our state’s current definition of marriage and secures it in the Constitution where it is safe from being meddled with by activist judges and politicians without any say from the people of Minnesota,” said Leva.

The Benson v. Chapin case record is available at www.mncourts.gov under case number 27-CV-10-11697.

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