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Minnesota's DFL Vows To Fight Right Wing Marriage Amendment

BigThingsMN As conservatives in Minnesota plot and plan to get a marriage equality ban on the 2012 ballot, the state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party insists it will do everything in its power to stop them.

"With the Republican majorities in the legislature, it’s very likely that the GOP will drive their partisan agenda next year by putting constitutional amendments on the ballot," said DFL Chair Ken Martin in a missive to party members after the site Change.org issued a petition calling for a stronger stance on the matter.

"While Governor Dayton can stop any extreme bills that come to his desk, the right-wing majority can use constitutional amendments on the ballot to circumvent his veto pen," wrote Martin. "That means there’s a real looming danger for many Minnesotans – especially those in the LGBT community."

The party leader continued, "Let me be clear: the DFL Party has and always will be the Party that stands for equal rights. And we will work hard to ensure that the GOP is not successful in their quest to write discrimination into our state constitution."

Read the relevant parts of Martin's letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

From Martin's letter in the DFL Dispatch:

...We also have a lot of tough battles coming up—and not just to get our candidates elected. With the Republican majorities in the legislature, it’s very likely that the GOP will drive their partisan agenda next year by putting constitutional amendments on the ballot. And while Governor Dayton can stop any extreme bills that come to his desk, the right-wing majority can use constitutional amendments on the ballot to circumvent his veto pen. That means there’s a real looming danger for many Minnesotans – especially those in the LGBT community.

Let me be clear: the DFL Party has and always will be the Party that stands for equal rights. And we will work hard to ensure that the GOP is not successful in their quest to write discrimination into our state constitution.

We are the party that supports equality and fairness. We believe that every person in Minnesota should have the ability to marry the person they love. We believe every student should be safe at school, and have a healthy, respectful learning environment free of harassment and violence. We believe in ending discrimination based on sexual orientation (and also based on gender, race, religion, disability and any other perceived or actual characteristic). And we will fight to make sure that any GOP efforts to outlaw gay marriage through a constitutional amendment will be voted down in 2012.

Note: As a matter of full disclosure, I have written for Change.org, the site that spurred Martin to take a stronger stand.

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Comments

  1. Just a few months ago we were looking at the possibility that Minnesota would be enacting marriage equality legislation this year with a new governor who is unapologetically supportive of equality, Mark Dayton. Well, Dayton squeaked through but, when nobody was expecting it, Republicans seized control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time in a generation. Now, instead of debating a marriage equality bill we are faced with the threat of a Republican-backed anti-gay amendment to the state constitution, a threat also now faced in Indiana and North Carolina after Republicans seized control of those state legislatures. Minnesota should be Exhibit A in countering the arguments of those here who argued that we should stay away from the polls last November or who argue that there is no difference between Dems and Republicans. If we and other progressives get out and vote in 2012, I fully expect to see marriage equality legislation advance in Minnesota and in other States.

    Posted by: Patric | Mar 7, 2011 10:49:02 AM



  2. I'm not sure if I would fully trust DFL on this -- the precedent is not good from NY. In the last election cycle, the Working Families Party was a BIG supporter of anti-gay marriage Democratic senators who had stabbed us in the back in the vote last year. I emailed WFP and they said we were not a top priority. Hopefully we can keep the DFL people honest.

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/03/minnesotas-dfl-vows-to-fight-right-wing-marriage-amendment.html#comments#ixzz1FvsGxGrX

    Posted by: JM | Mar 7, 2011 11:38:00 AM


  3. Patric is right, of course. Given the economy, 2010 would have been a bad year for Democrats in any case. But disgruntled Democrats who stayed home didn't help any, and in some cases definitely contributed to several states going Republican.

    Minnesota is one case where we would have had a good shot at a civil union/partnership law (maybe even a marriage bill) this year. Now another hateful state amendment is a possibility. Or take North Carolina, where Democrats kept a marriage amendment off the ballot for years; now the GOP runs the legislature, and the last Southern state without a hateful amendment may finally cave.

    The moral of the story: Democrats aren't always our friends, but Republicans are always our enemies. Vote Democratic!

    Posted by: K in VA | Mar 7, 2011 12:29:19 PM


  4. I am the individual who started the petition on Change.org to get MN DFL Chair Ken Martin to include LGBT people in the DFL Dispatch.

    Ken Martin spoke to Outfront Minnesota (a Minnesota LGBT advocacy organization that sponsor's the Freedom to Marry Day Rally and LGBT Lobby Day every year) to learn from them what to do to keep the constitutional amendment off the ballot in 2012.

    I wrote the petition and began collecting signatures on February 25, 2011. By the time Ken Martin wrote the Dispatch containing the quotes used here, the petition had 69 signatures all over the Country. When Martin wrote his remarks, I discontinued the petition.

    I think one thing this accomplishes is that if the DFL does not get behind the efforts to either keep a constitutional amendment off the ballot, or work with the LGBT communities to be sure it fails, it is the words of the Chair and the Party that we can hold them accountable to.

    We will see what happens. But this is an important first step forward.

    Posted by: Philip Lowe Jr | Mar 7, 2011 2:07:02 PM


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