Winona voters discuss marriage amendment - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Winona voters discuss marriage amendment

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WINONA, MN (WXOW)—Joan Francioni, a Computer Science Professor at Winona State University and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Ally Faculty Advisor, wants to have the same rights as everyone else.  For the last 15 years she's been in a committed relationship with her partner Ann.

"I'm a little older my relationship will be fine whether or not this amendment passes," Francioni said.

Equality is a possibility for her students, something she didn't even think of when she was their age.

"You just thought you were weird and just had to not have those hopes and dreams," Francioni said.

"We had a gay couple living in our neighborhood and they adopted a little son…it didn't even phase our daughter at all," Minnesotans United For All Families commercial said.  Click here to view the full commercial.

Francioni said the commercial shows that times are changing.

She said if the marriage amendment passes it will make it harder to change the laws with the times.

Minnesota for Marriage, a group supported by the Catholic Church, is working on their own commercial which is expected to first air in October.  Click here to view Minnesota for Marriage web site.

"I think it will have a good impact because the truth has this beautiful quality about it that it is with in us so when someone hears the truth it resonates with them," Peter Martin, Diocese of Winona Director of Office of Life said.

A truth that Martin said he shares with the Catholic Church, and a goal to keep marriage solely between a man and a woman; he said it's nothing personal.

"The catholic church has never been against any one person," Martin said. "We always up hold the dignity of every human person and so those who have same sex attraction certainly deserve every single right that is afforded to them...redefining marriage is not the way to go about that."

He said families will suffer if it's not passed.

"Children who have one mom and one dad are blessed to do better in school and to have better health and all of these things," Martin said.

He said what's best for children is also what's best for society.

In this case Francioni disagrees.

But one thing both sides do agree on is that the definition of marriage is worth fighting for.

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