MN Gov Dayton Symbolically Vetoes Gay Marriage Ban Amendment (VIDEO)

Minnesota’s DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in a symbolic gesture yesterday vetoed a constitutional amendment passed earlier this month by the Republican-led Legislature that would ask voters in a 2012 referendum to codify an existing statutory ban on same-sex marriage and therein write discrimination into the state’s constitution.

Under legislative rules Dayton, who has vowed to fight the ban with “every fiber” of his being, cannot veto the amendment so it will go before voters regardless of this action. Yet, because the amendment was sent to him, rather anomalously, as a bill he must either sign or veto it –  even though it will have no effect.

However, as one will see in the press conference video below, Dayton is very clear that this act is not meant as empty words but to openly declare his disdain that the GOP majority pushed through this amendment despite warnings of the “derisive” and “destructive” debate it will provoke at a time when Minnesotans should be rallying together.

In the video Dayton reads from a letter he sent to the Senate president and makes mention that there is to him a clear founding principal that should allow people the freedom to marry the consenting partner of their choice.

Dayton is joined in the video below by Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner-Salon, openly gay Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) and openly lesbian Representative Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis), all of whom have said they will actively campaign against the amendment. 

The first ten minutes are statements from Dayton and lawmakers, while the latter half is a question and answer session with journalists in which Dayton says he is confident that Minnesotans will reject the amendment, that “they are better than that.” He also fields questions on budget issues and other legislation he will be acting on in the next few days.

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 also 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 the issue here.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Mark Dayton.


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Maybe, just maybe, the change in attitude among Minnesotans are due to the fact that states around them have equal marriage rights and none of them have gone under in a natural disaster....Like some hardcore extremist xtian rightwinger have prophesized.
Thanks to the Governor of Minnesota and others who stand by the democratic principles of equal rights!

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley5 years ago

Well done. Dayton's actions are far more honorable than the Republicans tawdry behavior on this. They're not even listening to their actual constituents.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

Way to take a stand!

Shar F.
Sharon F.5 years ago

We are lucky to have a good governor in MN--yeah!!!

Lilithe Magdalene

Go Gov!

Mitch D.
Mitch D.5 years ago

Good for him and I hope all my Minnesota friends/allies vote against this hate!

Nic F.
Nic F.5 years ago

Linda F, the Bible also clearly states that eating seafood that doesn't have fins or scales is an abomination and detestable it doesn't say it is any less of an abomination than sex between people of the same sex. How many people who eat crab and lobster are persecuted, thrown in jail, beaten up, called names and still in some countries, executed? How many people who cut their hair "roundwise" (Whatever that means!) or shave their beards get treated this way? What about wearing a garment woven of two sorts? Do people who do this get treated like criminals? NO! It is because I DO NOT believe these are sins or abominations that I do not believe ANY of Leviticus, because you cannot choose which these are right and which are wrong, they either are ALL wrong or ALL right! Leviticus was written by men, not God and it's about time people stopped quoting it as the word of God to justify their attitudes towards gay people. You can't just say "I'm not gay, but I eat shellfish, but I'm not committing an abomination but gay people are" How come eating shellfish is acceptable and being gay isn't? BOTH are abominations, if you believe Leviticus, I don't.

Karen P.
Karen G.5 years ago

Thank you, Gov. Dayton. I hope the good voters of Minnesota will vote against this discriminatory bill.

Patricia A.

A man with a brain and a heart.

Roger Nehring
Roger Nehring5 years ago

A strong stand for justice.