Minnesota GOP Introduces, Fast-Tracks Ballot Initiative to Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Despite an economic crisis in the state and a budget that is still pending, Minnesota Republicans have decided instead to focus on bashing gays, the Minnesota Independent reports:

Limmer Republicans in the Minnesota Senate introduced three bills on Tuesday that aim to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage before voters in 2012. Minnesota law already outlaws same-sex marriage.

Not only that, the bill will be fast-tracked to meet a committee deadline and will get a hearing this week. 

Said the bill's author Sen. Warren Limmer (right): "We believe we owe the public the opportunity to be engaged…Personally I don’t think there’s going to be that much backlash on this. We want to give the public as much time as possible to consider it."

More:

Since the bill is a ballot initiative, it will bypass Gov. Mark Dayton’s veto pen should it pass both chambers of the Legislature, which — since both bodies are controlled by Republicans — it seems likely to do.

The ballot question would read, “Shall 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?”

Dibble Towleroad received a statement from openly gay state senator Scott Dibble (D-Minneapolis):

“It’s disturbing that Republicans want to use one of the last weeks of the legislative session to marginalize one group of people and divide our state. We are facing a $5 billion budget shortfall, yet Republicans believe the biggest threat to our state’s welfare is who is allowed to be married.”
 
“For same-sex couples, marriage is about economics; it’s about allowing families to take responsibility for each other and support their loved ones, creating strong households throughout our state. For this reason, there is significant evidence that the states that do the best economically are the ones that embrace diversity, not shut it out. With this amendment, we are taking Minnesota in exactly the opposite direction of where we should be headed – toward a stronger economy that welcomes the contributions of all people.”
 
“Minnesotans who are married legally have access to at least 515 laws that provide security, legal protections, and basic rights such as the ability to care for each other. As lawmakers, we should be focused on breaking these barriers that still exist for thousands of Minnesotans, rather than further isolating one group of people and wasting taxpayers’ time with unfounded fears.”
 
“This issue doesn’t help a single family in Minnesota, it doesn’t create a single job, and it actually harms our state’s economy. It is very troubling that we’re being asked to spend the final days of the legislative session focused on such a divisive issue.”

Comments

  1. Bob R says

    There is nothing in this nation as wicked, cruel, evil and hateful as a Republican. The most despicable people I have ever known have been conservative Republicans.

    I’ve been told by some that I’m too judgmental when it comes to Republicans, that there are some good ones. I’ll acknowledge there are good Republicans and they can be found in every cemetery and mausoleum around the country.

  2. walter says

    well to lcr and goproud just another example of how sticking with repuks gets you another kick in the ass. minnesota seems to have amany more problems whether two people who love each other get married. it seems like an awful lot of gay suicide stories come from there. could it be the way the state treats gays. homophobia is taught and it looks like the the state repuks teach it well. let’s see how many of these homphobes get money from target.

  3. Virginian says

    As a proud born and raised Minnesotan, what happened to the days of Hubert Humphrey and the proud democratic heritage of the state? It’s hard to believe that with the likes of Bachmann and this crap that MN can now say that its becoming more right than VA where I now hail from. Just a few years ago I would have thought that inconcievable. Sad.

  4. Joe says

    The ReTHUGlicans are at it again. In an effort to paper over their fiscal fiasco in places like Minnesota, Tennessee, & Texas, they are using the ol’ gay marriage diversion BS – anything to deflect attention away from their incompetence in governance. Hard to believe that this still works, but apparently it still has legs-

  5. K says

    So they want to make it illegal…again? Same-sex marriage is illegal so they want to amend the state constitution to make it illegal? I don’t get it.

  6. poison says

    @K yeah, that makes it all the more ridiculous. I guess they want to exploit the fact that they control both houses to put the ban into the constitution and thus make it harder to reverse? That’s my best guess.

  7. HadenoughBS says

    Let there be NO doubt, in government, especially at the state and federal level, we, the GLBT community, have met the enemy and the enemy is the Republican Party. If gay person is in doubt, they’re misguided deluded members of the Log Cabin Repuggies or GOProud. I will never ever be convinced that a sane person can be gay AND Republican at the same time. How can you hope to have any self-worth yet believe in a party that does NOT want you (and your God-hating “choice” of a same sex “lifestyle”) in their midst – let alone support your efforts to obtain civil rights equal to straight citizens? It simply…does…not…compute!

    I’m afraid that as long as GOPers continue to pass anti-gay laws and the courts don’t decide on granting GLBT civil rights by overturning or preventing such laws, there may be an unfortunate GLBT backlash against the straight establishment. I sense a gradually building unrest in certain quarters if homophbia continues to be codified in the law without any legal relief. It could turn into a nationwide version of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising – Part 2. I’m just sayin’….

  8. mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com says

    where are the goproud people at?

    all these repubs trying to pass so many bills against gays in only a few months of coming into power

    does this mean goproud people are delusional, say it isn’t so

  9. Go Scott says

    Senator Dibble’s rhetoric is effective in convincing moderate conservatives and should be used more often by equality advocates. Too often we focus on the right to marry as per the 14th Amendment, while conservatives do not share our idealist perspective on individual liberties. In other words, if rights for the “Other” is unproductive from a collectivist standpoint, they will oppose it.

    Therefore, it’s essential to develop a narrative of marriage equality as the common good; if given economic and social benefits of same-sex marriage, many more will support it.

  10. Ian says

    Scott Dibble says it well, except it’s not just about economics for same-sex couples and families, it’s about basic liberty, and love. The economic boons are a secondary benefit yes, and that is a good point to educate moderates on. The extremists would be happy to sink the state economically to exercise their hate.

  11. Jack F says

    It’s time for gay people in these states, en masse, to start withholding/refusing to pay state income tax in an amount equal to 2/5 of the state tax obligation. Call it the “Gay Dred Scott” tax credit. Make the pricks come after each gay person individually in court, and shut down the system. Demand jury trials in each case. Time for civil disobedience motherf*ckers!

  12. Ken says

    Minnesota is not all that conservative a state. Is there any chance this could backfire on the Rebublicans? I could see a scenario where the public is angry about Republicans pushing social issues instead of focusing on the economy and the result is a defeat of this measure giving the pro marriage equality side a huge symbolic victory and maybe returning control of the legislature to the Democrats. Or am I giving Minnesotans too much credit?

  13. Mikey Mugglesworth says

    Lol. Was watching republicans getting booed today by their own constituents on rachel maddow. Thought to self; self, how are the republicans going to spin their way out of an extremely hostile news cycle. Then voila! Out of the blue BAM. This.

  14. Francis says

    More and more it’s becoming obvious if it wasn’t already that we are under siege and under attack in this country as a community, more than before. It was predicted, as we gain acceptance and awareness, that the hate would ratchet up. Things like this hurt the bigots and help us more than anything else but sadly there will be a lot of pain and agony along the way as we make our place in a culture that is largely homophobic and heterosexist.

    Republicans have and will continue to use us as a diversion from their own transgressions. Economy gone bad, time to attack the gays. Paul Ryan budget plan a total fail, let’s attack the gays. Fewer and fewer people going to church, let’s go after the gays. These people see us as a vulnerable minority group they can take advantage of. They have no regard of our humanity. If we are going to continue making hay in this country, we have to fight fire with fire.

  15. NY2.0 says

    Republicans have demonized blacks, Hispanics, women, Muslims and ofcourse gays… Who is the new voting bloc that will return their bigot asses to the White House?

  16. Superman says

    It’s okay to vent and complain, but to defeat this demon, we need more proactiviity. We need sleuths to sniff out every last skeleton in these bigots’ closets and bring them to the light of day. If a smear campaign is what they want, then that’s what we should give them. This is how they like to play, so they deserve no less.

  17. TSG says

    I think that 2012 elections will flip control back to the Democrats in Minnesota. I think most people are really appalled at what is happening with the Republican controlled legislature pushing a very extreme social agenda. Though Minnesota has swung to the right since Hubert Humphrey, it is still more moderate socially than the current legislature. While most are ok with a law banning same-sex marriage, I don’t think a majority will support a constitutional ban. But if they do, I give up on Minnesota and the USA and am moving to Canada.

  18. AJ says

    I have lived in MN my entire life and I am sad and disgusted at what’s happening here. We used to be one mark of sanity in the Midwest. But I hear that none of these state issues are going to matter anyway. Vote yes, vote no. Whatever. It needs to come from the Federal Government or it will not matter at all. Look at the BS happening in Iowa. Look at Prop 8. Why the EFF is there still a stay on that?!! How long has it been since there was a victory in CA? As far as this state measure in my beloved MN, those that fight against it need to point out IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that this is nothing but a diversionary tactic to take all of the attention away from the economy.

  19. Patric says

    Ken, you ask a good question. There is indeed a chance that this could backfire on Republicans and that both this proposed amendment and many Republicans, including their party’s nominee for President, will be defeated at the polls by Minnesota voters in 2012. That will only happen if we ignore LincolnLounger and the many other voices within our community heard on this site and elsewhere, loudly proclaiming that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats and that we would do well by our community to withhold our votes from Dems. Minnesota (like Indiana, North Carolina and other places) is an excellent example of why that thinking is so flawed: had LGBT and other progressive voters turned out like the tea baggers in 2010, the Minnesota legislature would this year have been debating a marriage equality bill of which the new governor is an enthusiastic supporter. Instead, when our side stayed home, we get this. Well played, LCR/GOProud.

  20. wyocwboy62 says

    Crash and burn…I live in MN and I work for a non-profit it is on the verge of crash and burn. The politicians r not only cutting 6% but also on top of that cut 17%….CRASH AND BURN!!!

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