Bachmann backs Minnesota anti-gay marriage amendment, says same-sex marriage is like incest

Posted on: February 8th, 2012 by Andy Birkey 2 Comments

After a failed attempt at the Republican nomination for president of the United States, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has returned to one of her signature causes: banning marriage equality for same-sex couples. On the radio show of Pastor Brad Brandon, Bachmann expressed satisfaction that a cause she once championed — a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage — was finally on the state ballot in 2012. She said same-sex couples do not have a right to marriage, just like she does not have a right to marry her son.

Bachmann first brought the anti-gay marriage amendment to the Minnesota Legislature in 2003 and vociferously carried the bill until she left for Congress in 2006. In May, two Republican Minnesota legislators, who are friends of Bachmann’s, Sen. Warren Limmer of Maple Grove and Rep. Steve Gottwalt of St. Cloud (which is in Bachmann’s district) successfully carried the amendment. It will appear on the ballot in November.

Pastor Brad Brandon (source: wordoftruthradio.org)

Bachmann spoke with Pastor Brandon last Friday on his “Word of Truth” radio program on Salem Communications-owned KKMS about the amendment.

“I know that you, going back to being state senator, you were one of the pioneers in bringing that issue up, and now here we are with it on the ballot,” Brandon said. “How satisfying is that to you to see this thing come to full fruition?”

Bachmann responded, “It truly is an answer to prayer, because this was not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination, and it was really an effort that was begun on our knees and begun in faith and done in prayer. … Yes I was the original chief author and worked very hard on this bill, but I will tell you this certainly was a team effort and a group effort. There were many churches, many Godly men and Godly women of faith who were a part of this effort.”

She alerted listeners that the amendment amounted to a religious battle.

“Now is the battle, and we need to recognize this will be a full-throated battle between now and November. This is our time as believers to stand up for an immutable truth that is stated clearly in the word of God and that is that marriage is defined as one man and one woman.”

Bachmann and Brandon also spoke about religious liberty and marriage equality. “In my estimation, a civil right is not robbing a right from one group to the other,” Brandon said. He said that churches around the country are being forced to marry gay couples.

Bachmann agreed with Brandon that churches are being denied their rights, but same-sex couples are not, she said.

“Well it really is and I think you are exactly right. I think it’s important that we fundamentally remember everyone has the same right; no one is being denied rights,” she said. “Every man has a right to marry; every woman has a right to marry. They don’t have the right to marry the person of the same sex, just like we don’t have a right to marry our son or daughter. We don’t have a right to marry our grandfather or grandmother.”

Pastor Brandon has been using his church and radio program to lobby for the amendment. Last May, he organized lobby days for his listeners at the Minnesota Capitol and has made the amendment almost a weekly feature on his radio program. On Friday’s program, he chastised marriage-equality proponents.

“The opponents are twisting this like they usually do. They say things like this is a ban on same-sex marriage,” he said. “I think people need to understand the truth about this; this is not a ban on same-sex marriage. This is simply defining as the law defines it right now. It doesn’t change a thing.”

Bachmann reacted.

“There hasn’t been a day when marriage between two people of the same-sex has been legal in the state of Minnesota,” she said. “It never has been. Marriage has always been defined as one man and one woman, and as a matter of fact, if you go back to the 1880s, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that stated in order to become a state, part of admission into the United States, is that marriage needed to be defined as between one man and one woman. So even the Supreme Court has defined this historically.”

Bachmann was referring to the 1979 decision in Reynolds v. United States, in which it ruled that the government was within its bounds to limit religious liberty particularly in the case of Mormon traditions.

The court decided the religious liberty question; it did not address same-sex marriage.

The court wrote:

In our opinion, the statute immediately under consideration is within the legislative power of Congress. This being so, the only question which remains is, whether those who make polygamy a part of their religion are excepted from the operation of the statute. If they are, then those who do not make polygamy a part of their religious belief may be found guilty and punished, while those who do, must be acquitted and go free. This would be introducing a new element into criminal law. Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. Suppose one believed that human sacrifices were a necessary part of religious worship, would it be seriously contended that the civil government under which he lived could not interfere to prevent a sacrifice? Or if a wife religiously believed it was her duty to burn herself upon the funeral pile of her dead husband, would it be beyond the power of the civil government to prevent her carrying her belief into practice?

So here, as a law of the organization of society under the exclusive dominion of the United States, it is provided that plural marriages shall not be allowed. Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? [98 U.S. 145, 167] To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.

The case did not pertain to Minnesota’s founding or its quest for statehood either, as Bachmann suggests. The case was decided in 1879. Minnesota became a state 21 years earlier in 1858.

Full audio and transcript from Brandon’s show are below:

 

BRAD BRANDON: I know that you, going back to being state senator, you were one of the pioneers, in bringing that issue up and now here we are with it on the ballot. How satisfying is that to you to see this thing come to full fruition?

MICHELE BACHMANN: It truly is an answer to prayer because this was not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination. And it was really an effort that was begun on our knees and begun in faith and done in prayer and yes I was the original chief author and worked very hard on this bill, but I will tell you this was certainly a team effort and a group effort. There were many churches, many Godly men and Godly women of faith, who were a part of this effort, many legislators who were in the House and Senate and those who are currently in the House and Senate and those who have gone before. Many, many people gave tirelessly of their time and their money to make this happen, and so what we need to recognize is that we are not quite — we are in the home stretch — we are not quite done yet

Now is the battle, and we need to recognize this will be a full-throated battle between now and November, and we need … This is our time as believers to stand up for an immutable truth that is stated clearly in the word of God, and that is that marriage is defined as one man and one woman.

BRANDON: The opponents are twisting this like the usually do. They say things like this is a ban on same-sex marriage. I think people need to understand the truth about this; this is not a ban on same-sex marriage. This is simply defining as the law defines it right now. It doesn’t change a thing.

BACHMANN: There hasn’t been a day when marriage between two people of the same-sex has been legal in the state of Minnesota. It never has been. Marriage has always been defined as one man and one woman and as a matter of fact if you go back to the 1880s, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that stated in order to become a state, part of admission into the United States, is that marriage needed to be defined as between one man and one woman so even the Supreme Court has defined this historically

BRANDON: How do we get the people to the polls coming up in 2012? This is really the grassroots battle and by the way, I should say thanks, thanks for coming to our event, the Minnesota Faith and Freedom event. That really just made the event. This is really the grassroots battle. How do we transfer that energy into people going to the polls and voting this?

BACHMANN: I think what we need to do is make sure that we put information out in all of our churches, maybe hold a listening session in our churches and explain to people in the congregations why marriage matters. It seems so basic, yet there are good people that we just need to make the very simple case to
because there are more people who are undecided about this issue because a lot of pulpits just don’t talk about it.

So it’s important — not in a confrontation way — but just explain very clearly why this is important, why people need to vote. We can’t take this for granted. There are excellent materials from the Minnesota Family Council and other organizations. And very simply, put that out, but also be willing to go on the radio to talk about it, write a letter to the editor of the local paper, get on Facebook and on Twitter, on social media. Start talking about why marriage matters, because trust me, the other side, the other forces that believe in same-sex marriage, they will not be bashful and they will want to intimidate and silence people in the church from speaking, but this is our opportunity to stand up and speak. We cannot be silent in the midst of this assault and war on the family.

BRANDON: One of the things that is being told to the general public, and I think a lot of people are believing this, but they are saying that this is a civil rights issue. In my estimation civil rights is not robbing a right from one group to the other. That’s not civil rights, but that’s what is happening in the church. Churches in Washington and New Jersey are being told to do gay weddings. This is an issue of religious freedom, really is what it boils down to.

BACHMANN: “Well, it really is, and I think you are exactly right. I think it’s important that we fundamentally remember everyone has the same right, no one is being denied rights. Every man has a right to marry, every woman has a right to marry. They don’t have the right to marry the person of the same sex just like we don’t have a right to marry our son or daughter. We don’t have a right to right to marry our grandfather or grandmother. There are definitions surrounding the definition of marriage. There are restrictions surrounding the defense of marriage.

So it’s not an unadulterated right. You can carry the Libertarian ideal to an extreme, and that would be anarchy. That wouldn’t be upholding the law. It’s time we are wise and stand for this very basic unit of government.

Our entire fabric of our society is hinged on the family and the important and fundamental value of the family.

And this is the front line of the battle in Minnesota and it is our duty to show up for this battle and fight.

BRANDON: You are still able to look back and say, “You know? The marriage amendment is important, even though my job is in Washington, this is still important here in Minnesota.”

BACHMANN: I am representing the best interests of the people in the 6th District of Minnesota in Washington, but I am also a citizen of Minnesota and so I am speaking out as a citizen.

Also I am a lawyer. I understand this issue from a legal perspective.

I am a strong born-again Christian and I believe very sincerely that this is a constitutional right that we have and we need to defend it because we see on almost every side our values are being assaulted. We can’t lose this battle.

Here’s the full audio:

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Photo: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. (source: Wikimedia Commons/Fibonacci Blue)

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