Same Sex Marriage Ban Advances In Minnesota

By most reports, the debate surrounding a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the Minnesota House lasted hours on Saturday night before passing on a 70-62 vote.  But really, there was no debate. 

Instead there were hours and hours of impassioned floor speeches invoking the better of Minnesota political history and culture to turn away from bigotry and discrimination.  But those who supported the measure, who forced the issue through the House at a time when there is no budget and the state government will likely shut down because of that fact, they said nothing.

And their silence was deafening.

They were not out on the House floor advocating for enshrining discrimination into the Minnesota state constitution.  At best one lone representative, Rep. Steve Gottwalt (R-St. Cloud) stood up and said that the amendment was necessary because he did not believe it should be up to judges to interpret equal protection guarantees as applying to same-sex couples.  But that was it.

Minnesota law already bans gay marriage and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has vowed to fight the issue with “every fiber” of his being, though ultimately he can do little since governors have no veto over constitutional amendments passed by a legislative majority.

So instead it will be up to the people of Minnesota who will vote on the ban in November 2012.  The opposition to this amendment was fierce, and despite the loss of the vote, it is already organizing for an 18 month battle to defeat the measure.  Many Republicans were visibly uncomfortable with the vote, especially since the last poll from the Star Tribune showed a majority of Minnesotans did not support the ban.

This may prove to be one of the most significant political misreads by state Republicans to date.


photo courtesy of firemedic58 via Flickr

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Lindsey DTSW
.4 years ago

I agree, Lynne. I think full civil rights for gays is inevitable and legislators who keep trying to oppose same-sex marriage are just trying to futilely turn back the tide.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley4 years ago

The ban is wrong. Same sex marriage will happen in the future.

Ameer T.
Ameer T.4 years ago

Why is it that America has unresolved issues at home while it is out to straighten out the rest of the world while spending TRILLIONS of dollars and killing/ having killed many?

Why isn't more thought being put into how to revive the economy, create more jobs, relieve financial stress from over the average workers, restore social benefits and generally be a good role model as a forerunner nation for the rest of the world?

Each day, each hour the politians spend in debating these issues, more tax dollars are spent and America is not going anywhere. How many people are affected by this issue? compared to how many more are affected by other greater issues?

Lynn C.
Lynn C.4 years ago

All I can say is I hope it's a misread! May they have many more...

Valarie S.
Valarie Snell4 years ago

good article

Lyn Redbird
Lyn henry4 years ago

Thanks for this article.

Alice H.
Alice H.4 years ago

Hate and bigotry is not something to be enshrined in law.

A family with two moms should not have to pay more taxes and have less protections.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Beyond pathetic!

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.4 years ago

Sad. One step forward to full civil rights and one step backward. This is a civil rights issue and should be handled by the U. S. Congress not each state. We will get nowhere until this happens.

Richard Cook
Richard Cook4 years ago

Is the Minn legis going to be consistent and invite all those companies now doing business in Minn to leave - the ones that "gross up" benefits for same sex couples. 'Fess up Minn legis. If you don'ty want the employees, you don't want the companies, right? Or is is all tee party posturing - leaving the actual governing to the adults?