The marriage equality bill was officially unveiled yesterday, marking the beginning of what should be a pretty successful run of progressive lawmaking in St. Paul. Naturally, the first thing that happened in response was a bunch of know-nothing bigots coming out of the woodwork to spread the same old tropes and mouthspew they’ve been spreading for years.
Dan Hall, a Republican from
Glencoe Burnsville, for example. This is a guy who’s a clergyman in his life outside the Capitol, and thus probably has promised at least once not to lie or mislead or be mean, said he “will go to jail before I will ever perform a marriage to a homosexual.” Good thing too, since the bill contains language designed to protect clergy from solemnizing marriages with which they disagree. That was a piece pushed in there by Republican Senator Branden Peterson, which makes perfect sense and absolutely in keeping with the spirit of the bill’s goal: to make marriage as a civil arrangement, with civil benefits and responsibilities, something which any law-abiding pair of citizens can achieve.
And then there’s Glenn Gruenhagen. Good thing we have such upstanding, charming people representing huge swaths of our state in our halls of power.
If you wanted to get married but the pastor you asked to perform the ceremony refused, would you really want to force the issue? Nevertheless, as protection from trolls goes, it’s fine, and obviously Mr. Hall cares more about the fact that TEH GAYZ will be able to kiss for the cameras than he does about the fact that he won’t be forced to smile in the background.
Several states have already achieved full equality through various means — the courts, ballot initiative, legislation are all moving in the direction of full equality. And lo and behold, the sky has not fallen, nor has anyone been turned into a pillar of salt. It’s high time Minnesota got on the right side of history. Let’s get this done — sign our petition, and let’s see how many voices we can add to the chorus.
Let me mention one other cause, which is controversial, but consistent with my faith and my principles. And, more importantly, consistent with this country’s founding principles and its Constitution. I believe that every Minnesotan should have the freedom to marry legally the person she or he loves, whether of the same or other sex.
Last year, Minnesotans began a conversation about why marriage matters, and we found our common belief that it is about love, commitment, and responsibility. I want Minnesota to be a state, which affirms that freedom for one means freedom for everyone, and where no one is told it is illegal to marry the person you love.
(Mark Dayton, 2013 State of the State Address)
Everyone knew that Gov. Mark Dayton was going to address marriage equality during his State of the State address yesterday. He kept it simple and clear. He reiterated that he will sign the bill if it appears on his desk.
“I agree with the Governor’s assessment on this important issue at this historic event,” said Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls). “Minnesotans spoke clearly last year about this issue and told us the values that unite us are more important than those that divide us-that marriage is about love, commitment and responsibility.”
“The state budget and our economy are the focus at the start of this session, as they should be,” continued Dibble. “There is also room at the right time to have this conversation, which, consistent with everything else the legislature is working on, is really all about helping families do well.”
So once the budget has moved past it’s initial stages, expect to see DFLers introduce marriage equality bills.
As Minnesotans United for All Families gears up to lobby for marriage equality in the coming legislative session, we also learn what the opponents will argue.
But opponents of same-sex marriage are already lining up to defeat the legislation. John Helmberger, who is the CEO of the Minnesota Family Council and chairs Minnesota for Marriage, sent an e-mail to supporters today saying he doesn’t think there’s support to pass the amendment.
“First, understand that the defeat of the marriage amendment was not an endorsement of gay marriage,” Helmberger wrote. “Far from it. The amendment was defeated by a narrow margin. And, it passed in 75 out of 87 counties across Minnesota. That means that legislators did not receive a mandate from their constituents to redefine marriage.”
Congratulations to the Minnesotans for Marriage campaign! They won! And they’re going to remind the DFL legislators who campaigned for marriage equality that it was the gay-hating bigots that won in November. Great plan.
That’s the best you can come up with? Seriously?
Is your backup plan to roll out Bishop Nienstedt to threaten DFLers with eternal damnation?
After a week’s worth of horrible news, idiotic responses to the horrible news, news about horrible behavior and etc and etc, finally I can report something good — New Gingrich now supports the freedom to marry.
Gingrich, that staunch defender of traditional marriage [snicker], has finally seen the light:
On gay marriage, meanwhile, Gingrich argued that Republicans could no longer close their eyes to the course of public opinion. While he continued to profess a belief that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman, he suggested that the party (and he himself) could accept a distinction between a “marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state” — the latter being acceptable.
“I think that this will be much more difficult than immigration for conservatism to come to grips with,” he said, noting that the debate’s dynamics had changed after state referenda began resulting in the legalization of same-sex marriage. “It is in every family. It is in every community. The momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding some way to … accommodate and deal with reality. And the reality is going to be that in a number of American states — and it will be more after 2014 — gay relationships will be legal, period.”
Photo – CBS News
Now that the 2012 election has been certified by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, the official results spreadsheet is available for we political wonks and geeks to dig through. And I did a little digging. I compiled a spreadsheet of Minneapolis results.
As the 2012 campaign got rolling, I was concerned that not all Minneapolis DFLers would vote against the two amendments. Like many Minneapolitans, I got involved in my local Senate District to do what I could to ensure Minneapolis voted NO.
So I was interested to see how strongly Minneapolis voted against the two constitutional amendments on the ballot. It turns out it was as resounding NO.
Please note that non-votes counted against passing the amendment.
In my Senate District, SD62, 77.29% voted against the anti-Marriage amendment and 83.80% voted against the Vote Restriction amendment.
The Vote NO campaigns underperformed President Obama … but barely. Obama got 80.27% in Minneapolis.
Rep. Keith Ellison received 81.68%.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar did even better … 83.17% in Minneapolis.
Plaudits to MN United, Our Vote Our Future, the DFL Party, Rep. Ellison, Sen. Klobuchar and all the DFL legislative candidates for getting the word out.
Last Thursday, Don Davis of Forum Communications got a quote from new Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk about marriage equality chances in the upcoming legislative session.
Davis wrote that Bakk was getting lots of calls from “some real liberal constituencies” and that he was “reluctant to get into anything that is of a divisive nature.”
To be fair to Bakk, this is Don Davis of the right wing Forum Communications.
I talked to Richard Carlbom of Minnesotans United for All Families.
“We know there are many priorities, including the budget, school funding and tax reform facing the legislature in 2013,” Carlbom said. “While legislators will focus on their top priorities, we know the conversation about why marriage matters – its about love, commitment and responsibility – has only just begun. This conversation about why marriage matters will continue throughout all aspects of Minnesota life, including the legislature.”
The campaign to Vote NO has become the YES to equality for all Minnesotans campaign. They will do the research and polling. They aren’t going to foolishly rush into pushing their bill. Marriage equality supporters will pick the best time to get the bills introduced in each House of the legislature.
Don’t forget that a majority of DFL legislators support marriage equality and want to do something about it.
After all, which DFL legislator wants to be on the wrong side of history?
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk seemed to throw cold water on the dream of the Minnesota Legislature passing a marriage equality bill. How craven.
One issue [Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk] is fighting is eliminating a law that bans gay marriage.
“We are getting some calls from some real liberal constituencies on the gay marriage issue and repealing the language in statute,” Bakk said.
Such requests were expected given the fact that it has been 22 years since Democrats controlled both chambers of the Legislature and held the governor’s office. But Bakk said that Democrats have to balance serving their constituencies and adopting the budget.
“One of the challenges will be just to manage all of those expectations,” he said.
Those pressures are coming from outside groups, not his senators, Bakk said. “No, not yet.”
“We have to do other things first,” he said.
Many expect a report early next month to show the state would face a deficit without adding revenue or cutting programs. How to fix that problem should take priority, Bakk said, not policy issues.
“I am pretty reluctant to get into anything that is of a divisive nature,” he said. “There has been enough political rancor around here.”
(West Central Tribune)
But don’t worry. Minnesotans United for All Families hasn’t gone away. The coalition hasn’t disbanded. They’re reviewing and planning and preparing for the next legislative session.
Unlike the Republicans, a DFL majority in both houses will be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. I’m confident that the DFL legislative leaders can work with Gov. Mark Dayton and pass a budget as well as deal with important issues like marriage equality.
MN United is a huge coalition. I’m sure each part of the coalition will be lobbying the legislators they can influence.
Those DFLers who are too scared to be on the right side of history will be lobbied very hard this coming session.