The Minnesota Republican Party had launched a petition asking the public to oppose Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s proposed language for the November ballot measure that would enshrine a ban on marriage equality.
Then, Ritchie wants to change the title for the marriage amendment from “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman” to “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.” More confusion. More concealment. More obstruction of the democratic process.
The Minnesota Legislature, with the will of the people, already decided the ballot language. Mark Ritchie is defying the intent of legally and constitutionally passed legislation to fit his liberal agenda.
The petition then says “Help us STOP Mark Ritchie!” It doesn’t elaborate on how exactly they’ll do that, or where the petition is actually headed though. In fact, this seems to be nothing more than a chance to smear the Democratic secretary of state and to try to insinuate shady dealings where opposition to the anti-gay marriage amendment is concerned.
Also, it is difficult to see what is in fact confusing or being concealed by Ritchie’s proposed title, or how it is substantially different from the Republican-backed wording, other than making plain that the proposed amendment would enshrine that only opposite-sex couples will be able to marry in Minnesota and therein highlighting the fact that they will be defining away any future legalization of same-sex marriage.
It may be worth noting however that the language the GOP used is lifted from the National Organization for Marriage’s playbook on what works best to motivate voters into banning gay marriage.
This comes after Ritchie, late last month, invoked his authority as Secretary of State to issue new language, saying that the language passed by the legislature had been invalidated because Governor Dayton vetoed the constitutional amendment, even if it was only a symbolic gesture. In case of a veto, and subsequent veto override, Minnesota law gives the secretary of state the authority to choose an “appropriate title” for an amendment, provided the Attorney General agrees with it.
Fifteen GOP lawmakers have joined with anti-gay “pro-marriage” groups in a lawsuit challenging Ritchie’s authority to throw out the original language, saying that because the state’s governor could only issue a symbolic veto, that because of Minnesota law he could not in actuality veto the proposed amendment, the language was not really invalidated.