Minnesota Republicans Move Forward with Constitutional Amendment Banning Marriage Equality
April 27, 2011 by Tony Wagner, Western Regional Field Director
The following post is from HRC Staff Counsel, Aaron Welo:
Minnesota Republicans yesterday introduced an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage in the state. The proposed amendment, introduced in three identical Senate bills with 12 total cosponsors, asks “[s]hall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?” State Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) appears to be taking the lead on this effort by cosponsoring each of the three bills and speaking at yesterday’s press conference. The proposed amendment would constitutionally ban marriage equality in the state, which is already illegal under existing state law. Rather than focusing on improving the state economy, or finding a solution to the state’s $5 billion budget deficit, state Republicans are attempting to distract from their failure to address the real issues by attempting to harm LGBT families.
The proposed amendment is being fast-tracked and is now scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee this Friday at noon. If the amendment is approved by majorities in both houses of the state legislature, it would appear on the November 2012 ballot where it would need to receive only a majority of votes cast to become law. Governor Mark Dayton has condemned this attack on families headed by lesbian, gay and bisexual couples, but he has no veto power over proposed constitutional amendments. Earlier attempts to amend the Minnesota constitution to ban marriage equality were blocked in the state senate, which was controlled by Democrats until the most recent election.
We encourage Minnesotans to attend the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting at the Capitol this Friday at noon to protest the amendment’s introduction. Contact your legislators to express your disbelief that they are wasting state time focusing on divisive social issues rather than the work of creating jobs for Minnesotans. Reach out to your friends and family across the state to make sure they know about this discriminatory amendment and to encourage them to take action as well.
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