There has been a lot of discussion recently about what marriage means, what it should mean and if and how we should amend the laws relating to it.
Reading around the subject today I found an interesting fact.
In the American state of Minnesota (that's one of the big ones, in the middle at the top, surrounded by Canada to the north, the Dakotas to the west, Iowa to the south and Michigan and Wisconsin to the East), adultery is a crime (Statute 609.36), punishable in law by a fine of $3,000, 1 year's imprisonment... or both.
So what, you may say, a lot of countries have old laws, based on strict adherence to the Old Testament's or Torah's, teachings of Leviticus (Vayikra), which should have been repealed years ago, but were simply forgotten. The police would never act upon them.
After all, until a few years ago you weren't allowed to buy sugar or carrots in England on a Sunday, alcohol sales were banned in some parts of Wales and in the Western Isles of Scotland pretty much everything was banned on the 'Sabbath' (which wasn't Saturday, but Sunday!) if it didn't involve reading the Bible.
But in this case, you would be wrong. A Democrat Senator tried to have the law repealed in 2010, but an organisation called the Minnesota Family Council (MFC) objected. The MFC not only wanted the law retained, they wanted it strengthened. They said it sent a message to the public about how important marriage is and they were supported by the Republicans.
As far as I can make out, no actual strengthening was done, but the law remains on statute. To strengthen marriage however (and placate the MFC), the leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Amy Koch, brought forward legislation guaranteeing that marriage would always (in that state) be between a man and a woman. (The constitutional amendment, of course, has to be voted on in a referendum to take place at the same time as the Presidential election in November next year.)
So we can deduce from that that Amy Koch is strong on marriage, or can we?
No. In fact, Mrs Koch might have been better advised to avoid getting involved in the subject of marriage altogether, because it has come to light that Mrs Koch has been conducting an affair with one of her subordinates, and has been obliged to resign her leadership.
I expect that she will be glad that they didn't strengthen the penalty for adultery to, say ten years or $100,000