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Minnesota Gay Marriage Ban Amendment Clears House Panel

Minnesota Gay Marriage Ban Amendment Clears House Panel

A constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota cleared a House panel vote Wednesday, moving through the Legislature and to the 2012 ballot box at a pace. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, with the measure only narrowly scraping through on a 13-12 vote with one Republican voting against.

The Minnesota Independent reports legislators opposed to the amendment, which would codify an existing statutory ban, gave impassioned pleas during hearings on the amendment, with Rep. Kathy Brynaert, DFL-Mankato, saying: “The founding fathers warned against tyranny of majority. Don’t do this.”

The amendment now moves to the House for a full vote. It is expected to be taken up Thursday, but the House will certainly need to take the bill up by Monday, which is the last day of the session.

The Minnesota Senate passed the amendment earlier this month in a 38-27 vote.

Republican legislators have openly said they will fast track the amendment so as to put it before voters in a 2012 referendum. Due to legislative rules it would bypass the Democratic governors desk.

OutFront Minnesota suggests that five Republicans are needed to side with a full compliment of Democratic legislators in order to defeat the amendment on the House floor. So far, Rep. Tim Kelly who voted against the amendment in the committee is said to have committed to voting against, as has Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove.

Realistically, however, the amendment is expected to pass and go before voters. However, a recent poll suggests that 55% of Minnesotans surveyed do not want to enact a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. This is a change on a 2004 Minnesota Poll that found 58% of Minnesotans supported a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

It should be noted that a significant number of the public identifying as either Republican or Independent have come out against the amendment, saying they find the constitutional amendment unnecessary given the existing ban, or that they believe codifying the ban amounts to an abridgment of liberty. Read more here.

Read our past coverage of this issue here.

Updates on the vote will appear here.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Jack Newton.

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7:27AM PDT on May 21, 2011

Here is a state where the majority of it's residents seem to be more concerned with the economy and jobs. Yet the elected officials ignored them and rammed this piece of trash thru the system. Here's hoping the residents REMEMBER come the next election.
I personally hope this issue comes back to HAUNT each elected official who voted for this.

6:41AM PDT on May 21, 2011

Equality is equality is equality. I can only hope that sooner or later all legislators in all countries will realise this and overcome their fear of anything or anyone that they don't understand

11:33PM PDT on May 20, 2011

I'm a Minnesotan, and I SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE 100%

Love is love.

Everyone deserves to be treated equally. We should all have the same civil rights.

9:09PM PDT on May 20, 2011

civil rights includes ALL of us, not just a few accord to our dumb society..... RESPECT!!

7:53PM PDT on May 20, 2011

This is such a red herring. Leave adults that love each other alone. Get on to other issues that really do concern you as a politican like unemployment, foreclosures, war, healthcare and so on. Quite frankly, I dont think god really cares what we, as adults, do with our penises and vaginas. No, more to the point, I think Chrristianity has made us all secual nerotics.

6:31PM PDT on May 20, 2011

I ask Goddess to enlighten Minnesotan politicians, and people like Shirly S!

6:16PM PDT on May 20, 2011

Oh, brother. Ignorant homo sapiens pretending to know that their god is a judgmental vengeful god. Can't they meditate and go within to find out what is really going on? Pettiness is such a WASTE of a HUMAN LIFETIME.

5:28PM PDT on May 20, 2011

Either way,

It should be noted that a significant number of Minnesotans identifying as either Republican or Independent have come out against the amendment, saying they believe codifying the ban amounts to an abridgment of liberty.

2:10PM PDT on May 20, 2011

Your ignorance is appalling! The Constitution was NOT based on God. When was the last, or even the first time read it? You're obviously a 24/7 FUX watcher...

12:04PM PDT on May 20, 2011

I am sad that this was an issue that my state congress felt was important enough to require debate instead of working on the state budget which they are constitutionally bound to do by May 23, 2011. I always thought of Minnesota as a progressive state. That is one of the major reasons I moved here. I believe in equal rights for all and I will help activists to see that this ammendment is defeated when it is included on the ballot!

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