Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Foes File Suit

Backers of a proposed anti-same sex marriage amendment to the Minnesota state constitution will file suit against Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson over proposed language for the ballot question.

Minnesota for Marriage, the primary backer of the amendment, are challenging the wording that Ritchie and Swanson, both members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, for changing the wording of the ballot question from what had been passed by the legislature.

The Republican-controlled legislature passed a proposed amendment that would write a same-sex marriage ban into the state’s constitution. Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota. The legislature’s bill had proposed a ballot title of “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman.” The measure was symbolically vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton, a DFLer, but under the Minnesota Constitution, the governor cannot block a constitutional amendment.

Ritchie did, however, cite the governor’s veto in announcing his title for the ballot question, “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.” Minnesota state statutes give the secretary of state the authority to choose an “appropriate title” for an amendment, provided the Attorney General agrees with it.

“The actions of SOS Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson are unlawful and exceed their constitutional authority,” said State Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who authored the amendment, in a statement from Minnesotans for Marriage. “It is a sad day in Minnesota when the Secretary of State and the Attorney General disregard the will of the legislature and use deceptive language.”

Minnesota United for All Families, the main group opposing the amendment, said whatever the wording ends up being, they will work to defeat it.

“We have been and will continue working across the state to spark conversations about the question Minnesotans will vote on, which is whether in 2012, our state will limit the freedom to marry for committed same-sex couples in Minnesota,” said spokesperson Kate Brickman.

Under Minnesota’s constitution, proposed amendments are placed on the ballot by majority vote of both houses of the legislature. The amendment is adopted if it receives the support of a majority of all voters, meaning that voters who vote on other questions but choose not to vote on the amendment are effectively voting against it.

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Image Credit: Fibonacci Blue

17 comments

donald baumgartner

HOPE it passes!!!

Aludra N.
susan m4 years ago

ALL the objections to same sex marriage and abortion are based solely on religious beliefs. Since supposedly there is a separation of church and state, I don't understand how these issues keep taking up so much energy and resources. I think they are a distraction to keep people from thinking about the REAL issues that face the whole human race - like the fact that we are on the fast track to extinction unless we clean up this planet we all depend on for little things like food and being able to eat, breathe and drink something clean that can support life.

Mitch D.
Mitch D4 years ago

Mehmet N.- what are you talking about!???

Karen and Ed O.
Karen and Ed O4 years ago

Oh lord, here we go again. I hope Minnesota doesn't end up with a court case dragging on and on and on, like we have in California.

"Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself."
---------------------------------------Robert Ingersoll, Civil War veteran and American political leader

Jen Matheson
Past Member 4 years ago

It's ridiculous that they're even allowed to file a suit to overturn the ruling.

Sue Cugini
Sue Cugini4 years ago

It is interesting that the Republican Party which advocates a less intrusive government has no problem with becoming the Crotch Cops of American -- talk about intrusive!

Melanie K.
Mel;anie K4 years ago

The people pushing the amendment want equal rights for everyone. Except for those who disagree with them. They need to get a life. Gay marriage will not hurt their marriges, and will acutallay make marriage stronger as it shows that marriage is a desirable thing for everyone.

David Moffatt
David Moffatt4 years ago

Good for them. Discrimination is discrimination. Our government should not dictate basic civil rights.

John Mansky
John Mansky4 years ago

Equal rights,for all!!!

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal4 years ago

Go Minnesota...Keep moving toward respect, dignity, and equality for all.