Marriage Equality Looms Large Over Obama’s Minnesota Visit


President Obama takes his reelection campaign to Minnesota tomorrow, and analysts think both his overall popularity and gay marriage endorsement will help defeat a ballot measure that will further restrict marriage rights in the Northstar State.

From the Washington Post:

Minnesota’s[ballot measure] would toughen current limits on gay rights and etch the ban into the state constitution. Obama won 54 percent of the vote in the state and is expected to win it again this year, so opponents of the ban are hoping enough Minnesotans follow the president’s self-described evolution on gay marriage so they can defeat it.

John Murphy, an expert on presidential rhetoric at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said it’s not a stretch to think some Democrats previously unlikely to vote in favor of gay rights would be won over by Obama. When presidents take a new stand on a hot-button social issue, Murphy said, it can motivate dedicated party followers to change their own views and stay on the same page as their party’s leader.

“I imagine his newly unequivocal support for gay marriage is likely to convince at least some die-hard Minnesota Democrats to swallow personal qualms they might have in order to give their side a win,” Murphy said.

The discriminatory measure's defeat may also be aided by the fact Mitt Romney has yet to open an office in Minnesota, nor does he seem inclined to spend time and money in a largely Democratic state he lost to socialyl conservative primary rival Rick Santorum. Plus, it's unlikely Romney wants to get involved in a marriage fight when the majority of the nation supports recognizing same-sex relationships.

Obama, meanwhile, seems in it to win it. Hopefully he'll his use his clout to the best of his ability.