Gay Marriage | Gay Rights

Minnesota Marriage Amendment: Is It Doomed?

ChuckDarrellA proposed "pro-marriage" amendment will almost certainly die a slow, ignoble death in Minnesota next year. More than 8,000 attendees of the state fair, not traditionally a libertine demo, voiced their disapproval of the amendment last month. Now, several Republican pols have voiced theirs, too. "I don't think neighbors should be voting on what neighbors can and can't do in the privacy of their homes," said State Rep. John Kriesel, according to St. Paul's MSNBC affiliate, KARE. Sen. Wheelock Whitney said, movingly:

I have a gay son. I have a gay grandson. I love them. I'm proud of them. And I don't like to see them discriminated against in any way.

The video in which these words are captured profiles some members of the fam-vals crowd, too, including a debonair looking silver fox named Chuck Darrell, who promises to foment a groundswell of support for "traditional" marriage in the coming year. But Darrell seems pretty mild, and given the state fair poll, the pro-gay Republicans, and Minnesota's traditionally live-and-let-live attitude ('cuz, really, who's got the energy to judge people when it's minus-30 outside?), it seems reasonable to assume Darrell and his co-bigots are facing an uphill slog.

That impression isn't appreciably weakened by a look at one of the weapons in Minnesota's fam-vals arsenal: an innofensive-loking pamphlet, viewed briefly in one of KARE's cut-scenes, entitled "77 Non-Religious Reasons To Support Man/Woman Marriage." (A weird title, maybe, since no high profile gayfolk have yet voiced anything but support for heterosexual marriage rights, but oh well.) "77 Reasons" turns out to be a befoggled little tract compiled by The Ruth Institute, a conservative Christian organization devoted to "making marriage cool." Probably, Darrell and Co. will spend the next several months distributing these things among gatherings of chilly Minnesotans, who, upon cracking them open, will encounter page after page of inarguable wisdom-nuggets, such as:

Look at marriage from the child’s point of view. Not every marriage produces children. But every child has parents.

Bam, sodomites! Betcha never thought of that!

That's "Reason Number 10." Presumably, the next 67 reasons dare even nearer the bottom of the rhetorical barrel.

The marriage amendment hits the Minnesotan ballot in November, 2012.

Watch KARE's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. The Ruth Institute is a wholly owned subsidiary of NOM. And as usual it's a title designed to make a one-person operation look more grand

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 8, 2011 2:34:59 PM

  2. "Look at marriage from the child’s point of view. Not every marriage produces children. But every child has parents."

    I couldn't agree more. When I first saw this quote, I thought it was being used by pro-equality forces. Not every child has opposite-sex, married parents. The fact that The Ruth Institute/NOM would use this as a talking point proves that they do not think the children in non-traditional families deserve to be treated equally, either.

    Posted by: John Allard-Lawson | Oct 8, 2011 3:17:55 PM

  3. I suppose we will never hear NOM say, "one man, one woman, one marriage TILL YOU DIE." They won't speak out against multiple marriages, or serial monogamy, or come out against divorce. Which proves it is not the preservation of heterosexual marriage they are concerned about.

    It is simply a game of "get the gays."

    But I think the tide has turned. They are losing their audience.

    And Minnesotan voters are probably a lot more thoughtful than, let's say, others and leave it at that, ahem, California.

    Posted by: legal issues aside | Oct 8, 2011 3:30:25 PM

  4. Is Wheelock a common name in Minnesota, or anywhere?

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 8, 2011 3:43:13 PM

  5. All the positive polls in Minnesota are great news. But just remember that the summer before Prop 8 passed in California we had a huge lead in the polls and every state wide official including the Republican Governor on our side and we lost anyway because of the avalanche of money hate groups poured in to spread their lies.

    Posted by: Ken | Oct 8, 2011 4:41:11 PM

  6. As a former Minnesotan who now lives in CA,I wouldn't be quite so smug about MN voters.Ever hear of Minnesota Nice? The upper Midwestern version of Southern friendliness - nice to your face,never cause waves in public but in private all bets are off.There's a certain amount of that in CA,too whereas on the East coast people generally tell it as it is. At least you know where you stand!
    I hope MN voters do defeat this odious amendment....just don't be complacent. Look what happened here in CA...

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 8, 2011 5:39:13 PM

  7. As a Minnesotan, I'll predict that this will, in fact, go down in defeat.

    Wheelock Whitney is the Minnesotan version of Karl Rove. He's arguably the largest pillar of the state's Republican party and nothing to sneeze at.

    Posted by: Eaves | Oct 8, 2011 6:10:45 PM

  8. Funny thing about that map at the end...

    It conveniently leaves out that big empty space to the north, where marriage is legal in every single province and territory, and has been for years.

    You'd think a state that shares a border with that big empty space might make a note of it once in a while, eh?

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 8, 2011 9:32:18 PM

  9. To be frank, your political analysis is bad. However, I think the conclusion is correct, and also that Minnesota will have a better chance to win than California. And that is because of who makes up the DFL and who makes up Republicans in the state. Greater MN is about 3/5th of the state and the metro is 5/8. Greater MN, on the whole, is a toss-up politically, which means it'll have a lean for the amendment in 2012. Small towns, conservative social issue positions, it's how it goes. The metro is where things will go overwhelming against the amendment as our Republican voters hale from the exurbs and suburbs. The exurbs are tea-baggers, they're all for it and they vote correspondingly GOP so this is no shock. They make up 1/8th. However, suburbs in the 2nd ring that still are Lean R are going to most likely go big against the amendment. They're 2/8ths of the state.

    This is what makes us different than CA as we will rely on Republican, but trending DFL, suburban voters to win while they relied on minorities, which voted for Prop 8 overwhelmingly. A study that I'm too lazy to look up and site, but I believe it was from a univ. in Gainesville, said that education was the biggest factor in Prop 8, not race. And these suburbs are some of the most educated areas in the country. While they sure hate their taxes, social issues will be a different story entirely. This means that after the campaign works through the DFL voter rolls, they will then be able to work through tens of thousands of GOP voters in the suburbs that are just too smart to be prejudiced.

    Posted by: Andrew | Oct 9, 2011 12:19:17 AM

  10. We will fight those "Wrong"-Wingers (I can not call them "right" wingers becuase they are not right but wrong). We can not trust the polls...that has shown to not show up at the ballot box...WE WILL FIGHT to the END...anyway in the long run the Wrong-Wingers will have wasted their money becuase LGBTQ will get their rights...look at hx...the religious have lost in the long run...when will they learn???? Most likely never!

    Posted by: Silas | Oct 9, 2011 12:41:25 PM

  11. Are you kidding?? Have you read "77 Non-Religious reasons"?? The Ruth Institute does our cause no favors with ill-conceived list," several of which were immediately and compellingly refuted when I raised them in a recent discussion with same-sex marriage proponents, and many of which I simply refused to raise because I myself recognized them as patently invalid and easily refuted. Many of the "reasons" could easily be levied against the practice of adoption! Shall we also outlaw adoption? Crips, one of my friends even pointed out the namesake of the institute, Ruth, was married twice and therefore a contradiction of the institute's motto "One man, one woman, for life."

    The Ruth Institute would be doing us all a favor by withdrawing this poorly considered list of "77 Reasons" and give us GOOD arguments that don't make us look like d@mn fools when we raise them!! Are they truly supporting traditional marriage? Because this effort looks more like an exploitation of "confirmation bias" in an effort to pump a chosen market segment for donations!

    Posted by: Married31Years | Oct 11, 2011 1:53:51 PM

  12. Far from doomed. In fact, I predict the Marriage Amendment will pass with a comfortable margin. The liberals have been publishing FAKE polls for so long that they are starting to believe their own BS. How do I know they are FAKE? Because every time there is a free and fair vote, "gay marriage" is banned ... 30 states and counting!

    Posted by: Mary | Oct 14, 2011 11:17:22 PM

  13. The opponents of the amendment will take a defeat of their side much easier than the proponents considering how often they've lost at the ballot box! But I'd love to see the look on the proponent's faces should Minnesota choose to buck the trend and STRIKE IT DOWN! I'd be laughing my ass off for sure! :D

    Posted by: Realist | Oct 15, 2011 4:45:44 PM

  14. And I'm sure you feel quite good over marginalizing a segment of the population and their families for your own prejudiced reasons, don't you, Mary? If it were YOU and YOUR family being targetted by bigoted legislation, I'm sure you wouldn't be feeling so jubilated, would you, you cow?

    Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2012 11:07:14 AM

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