Gay Marriage | Minnesota

Minnesota House Debates Marriage Amendment

With just days left in its legislative session, the Minnesota House is tonight debating the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in that state. A vote is expected tonight. Watch the live stream of the session above.

Update: After six hours, in a 70-62 vote, it has passed and will now go to voters in November 2012. Governor Mark Dayton says he will fight it.

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  1. It just passed 70-62

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | May 22, 2011 12:31:49 AM


  2. I've never met a person from Minnesota I didn't like; they're hard working, tolerant and fair minded people - and I can't believe this just happened in their state.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | May 22, 2011 12:39:55 AM


  3. I am completely sickened this has happened in my beautiful state... the thought of NOM and their ilk coming to our cities and towns to spread hate and fear turns my stomach...

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | May 22, 2011 1:00:47 AM


  4. @yonkersconquers

    Well, this just put it in their hands. Come November(?), we'll see how tolerant and fair-minded they are. I hope you're right.

    Posted by: marco | May 22, 2011 1:05:29 AM


  5. It is a very sad day for Minnesota, and especially for those pro-equality supporters who somehow thought their state would be different. Of course, we all know through history, that an election is just a formality, and the amendment will pass.

    Posted by: meercat | May 22, 2011 1:07:48 AM


  6. I am sad for the state...but I can only hope that this will galvanize people to the polls.....get out the vote, my Minnesota friends!!!

    Posted by: chowder | May 22, 2011 4:09:17 AM


  7. Isn't this the place that keeps on putting Michelle Bachman in power? If yes, why would this be a surprise?

    Posted by: Rowan | May 22, 2011 8:40:41 AM


  8. Conservatives are going to keep using our rights and our lives as bait to bring out and galvanize their base. I don't know how much more it needs to be proven that these people hold absolutely zero regard for the existences of gay people, they hate us, and they see us as the plague so they will keep attacking us, everywhere, anywhere. They don't think we can win a popular vote on a ballot. Let's prove them wrong.

    Posted by: Francis | May 22, 2011 9:24:42 AM


  9. The GOP are playing politics with gay people as the bait.

    This is a carrot to bring Evangelicals to the polls in the hope of turning MN against Obama in 2012.

    Gay conservatives can't explain this one away. I think this should galvanize progressives to defeat it. It's disgusting that they cite 'values' when really they're stoking homophobia in the hope of cheap votes.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | May 22, 2011 9:39:16 AM


  10. The legislative vote was predictable because the Republicans control the legislature, even though there were several wonderful, pro-equality Republicans who voted against the amendment (the short speech by Republican Rep. John Kriesel is a must to watch!).

    This could be a positive turning point in the equality struggle IF the amendment can be defeated at the polls. The anti-gay right wing keeps saying that in every election where same sex marriage has come before voters, the voters have banned it (Arizona doesn't count -- the voters defeated an amendment to prohibit same sex civil unions or marriages, but then they later passed an amendment to prohibit same sex marriages). The right wing won't be able to say that voters are always against marriage if Minnesotans vote against this amendment. And because we are talking about Minnesota, and not Alabama or Oklahoma or even Iowa, there is a chance.

    We have 18 months to mount a massive "No" campaign. What is needed is something like a combination of recent developments involving "It's Get Better", "New Yorkers for Equality", "No on H8" etc. --- campaigns which feature pro-equality ads, videos and statements by politicians (right, left and center), athletes (professional & college), entertainers, business executives, philanthropists, religious leaders and others.

    This will take lots of work and money by people in Minnesota and outside. It will take putting aside egos to work together to develop an effective campaign. But there is really a chance to win here, and it could become the beginning of the end of the 100% successful anti-equality campaign. It could be the turning point.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | May 22, 2011 10:15:27 AM


  11. "Isn't this the place that keeps on putting Michelle Bachman in power? If yes, why would this be a surprise?"

    It's also the state that keeps re-electing Keith Ellison, one of the most progressive representatives in congress. It is almost like there are two Minnesotas. This will further divide the state.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | May 22, 2011 10:33:44 AM


  12. The last few weeks have shown how much better the anti gay side is at pushing their agenda. A recent poll says 55% of Minnesotans oppose this yet almost every Republican in the legislature votes for it. Meanwhile in Rhode Island, there is 60% public support for marriage equality and an almost 3 to 1 Democratic majority in the legilature and we still can't get a pro marriage bill passed. If Republicans are in power, we lose. If Democrats are in power, we still lose! Maybe we are at the point where letting the people vote is our best hope.

    Posted by: Ken | May 22, 2011 11:52:51 AM


  13. Rowan - Michelle Bachman isn't voted into the office by the whole state, she's only voted in by a certain district. I am a Minnesotan and unfortunately unable to vote against her. So let's not blame her on all of us. I was amazed how Pawlenty was voted in to office for two terms - it is still shocking. Luckily we did defeat Emmer.


    I've written emails, called Representatives since I heard this bill was being put to a vote. It's sad that members of the GOP couldn't see how this will harm the state.

    Posted by: colin | May 22, 2011 2:40:04 PM


  14. One thing to keep in mind here is that the Minnesota constitutional amendment is NOT about legalizing same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Minnesota and this amendment — regardless of its outcome — won't change that.

    If it passes, the constitution will be amended to outlaw same-sex marriage — essentially reinforcing legislation that currently does the same thing.

    If it fails, the constitution won't be amended, but same-sex marriage will still be illegal.

    This is an important distinction to keep in mind, as the local Fox TV station is already twisting the details to cast this as a question of "legalizing gay marriage" to get voters to think that by voting "no," they'll voting for the creation of gay marriage.

    But, remember that is NOT the case here. Voting "no" on this issue will NOT legalize same-sex marriage. Voting "no" is NOT a vote to institute marriage equality, no matter how much the Rebubs will try to claim that it will.

    Posted by: Eaves | May 22, 2011 5:14:35 PM


  15. @Eaves: Technically you are correct but if the amendment is defeated the pro equality side can and will use the win to influence the legislature to legalize same sex marriage if the Democrats ever regain control.
    I've already read several places where people are making the "it's already illegal so why make it more illegal" arguement. This is the WRONG arguement to make. By saying this we are telling people that it is okay that it is illegal. I hope this campaign is run by being honest about the ultimate goal: equality. The can't treat the voters like they are stupid, if someone is against same sex marriage they will vote for this. We have to convince them why they should support same sex marriage.

    Posted by: Ken | May 22, 2011 6:31:40 PM


  16. @Ken, ".... if someone is against same sex marriage they will vote for this. We have to convince them why they should support same sex marriage."

    An alternative approach (one possibly easier to sell to the voters) is to argue that putting social-conservative positions into the state's constitution is very bad public policy - it sets a precedent for liberals to do the same thing once they get control, a risk conservative voters should consider.

    The result would be a system of government unable to make necessary changes even when the need for a change is obvious to everyone: it is much harder to change a constitution than to simply pass legislation.

    Posted by: Bill | May 23, 2011 2:49:08 PM


  17. This is a call to arms for all LGBT Minnesotans and their non-bigoted Allies: you have work to do. Grassroots. Go door to door. OUT YOURSELF. Got people in your life you're not Out to? They're the ones most likely to vote against Equality.

    HELP OUT, COME OUT.

    And get you straight friends and family to do the same. If it's in the voter's hands, then you have an obligation to change hearts and minds.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 23, 2011 10:17:32 PM


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