President Obama’s administration has come out against Minnesota’s planned constitutional amendment to codify the state’s ban on marriage equality.
Said Obama for America Minnesota Communications Director Kristin Sosanie in a statement released Monday:
“While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples. That’s what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”
This November Minnesotans will go to the ballot to vote on whether to write the state’s existing ban on same-sex marriage into the constitution.
After a lot of years of trying the move was pushed through by GOP lawmakers, though some Democrats did support the referendum.
LGBT rights groups and wider civil rights commentators have decried the campaign the GOP waged to gather support for the bill as being one of misinformation that was grounded in scare tactics like that gay marriage will lead to bestiality and that same-sex marriage harms children — even though the referendum is not about whether to legalize marriage equality but on cementing the state’s ban.
Anti-gay groups who supported the ballot measure, among them the embattled National Organization for Marriage, are currently facing legal scrutiny as documents recently came to light suggesting the groups may have flouted state finance laws in order to keep donor identities a secret.
Religious conservatives, and particularly conservative Catholics in the area, have begun politicizing prayer and school discussions to try and grow support for the constitutional amendment, though many have faced a backlash for their political messaging.
Polls suggest Minnesotans are about evenly divided on the issue with Public Policy Polling finding that 46% of people favor the amendment while 47% are opposed and 7% are undecided.