Minnesota Voters to Define Marriage in 2012 Vote

The Minnesota House on Saturday voted to give voters a say on the matter.

The Minnesota House on Saturday voted 70-62 to put the definition of marriage in front of voters on the 2012 ballot. If approved by Minnesotans, marriage would be defined as “only a union of one man and one woman.”

Reps. Kelby Woodard (R-District 25B) and Pat Garofalo (R-District 36B), who both represent Northfield, voted in favor of sending the issue to voters.

The Minnesota Senate passed the bill 38-27 on May 11.

Northfield's senators, Al DeKruif (R-District 25) and Dave Thompson (R-District 36), should be determined through a statewide vote.

“We want the folks to decide,” DeKruif told Northfield Patch

Thompson, assistant majority leader and co-author of the Senate bill, argued that conventional couples provide more nurturing environments for children than do same-sex spouses.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, admonished the Minnesota Legislature on Sunday for its push for the constitutional amendment.

“At a time when all Minnesota families are sharing concerns over the economy, it is appalling that the Legislature would seek to harm a segment of those families rather than pass a budget,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese in a statement. “We are confident, however, that when November 2012 arrives, Minnesotans will reject these divisive tactics.”

Minnesota law already bans gay marriage, but proponents of the proposal say only a constitutional amendment could keep the issue from being decided by the courts.

Because the Legislature proposed it as a constitutional amendment—and not a bill—the issue bypasses DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Tell us what you think of the issue being put on the 2012 ballot. How will you vote?

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Minnesota law already bans gay marriage.

daniel phelan May 22, 2011 at 05:08 PM
Leave it to the tyranny of the voters to take rights from people you don't know. That figures. How stupid is that? OK all you Mormons and other self proclaimed profits. Your days of lies and deceit, your days for dividing people are dwindling. What are you going to rejoice about when you get old? That you stopped the gays from getting married or serving with honor in our military for a short while? Well than; Mission Accomplished. What a waste of time, and all just to get the stupid moronic Minnesotans to the voting booth to vote for Republicans. You people are plain evil.
Brian Gilbert May 22, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Daniel, While I agree with your stance on the issue at hand, I think your language is as or more divisive than that of the Republicans. You attack the entire Mormon religion, which like all religions has its flaws, but considering it is the fastest growing religion in the world also seemingly has some positive attributes. You attack Minnesotan Republicans as well, calling them stupid and moronic, and even evil. You're being as judgmental and open to harmful generalizations as the people you're criticizing. If the Democrats are going to win this issue, they need to speak about the rights of minorities in the United States, something our founders spoke about incessantly, not the supposed evil behaviors of the opposing politicians. Brian
A. E. Ness May 23, 2011 at 04:30 AM
I watched some of the live footage of the House last night (very interesting, and I think it's available online, if anyone's interested: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/htv/programa.asp?ls_year=87&event_id=3769), and of the speakers that I took notes on, I'd have to agree with Rep. Jim Davnie and Rep. Diane Loeffler, respectively: "Members, we’re not really debating same-sex marriage. What we’re debating is our right to debate. What this constitutional amendment does is to deny our right to debate this issue in the future." "I believe that this [proposed amendment] will not stand the test of time."
David Beimers May 23, 2011 at 01:13 PM
The subtext here isn't that "we want the people to decide", but that the Republicans want to create as divisive and hostile environment as possible for the 2012 election. When looking at the campaigns for similar proposals in other states, they have been characterized by misinformation, propaganda, scare tactics, and lies. Every single election that has included this issue on a state-wide ballot (31 total) has restricted rights for gays and lesbians. I suspect the Republicans hope it will happen here as well. I know I'll be working to prove that MN is the exception.
Karen Knutson May 23, 2011 at 07:48 PM
The Republicans say they are not being vindictive or taking rights away from anyone but what else is it. Who is this hurting to let people live there lives way they want, and to say that lesbians and gays can't bring up children properly because it may cause the children to be gay is ludicrous and no bases for fact. I hear they want government to stay out of their lives but only for things that pertain to them and to hell with everyone else. It is sad that they spent all that time on this but would not deal with the budget in a way that would end the session. I wonder if there is an added session they will forfeit their salaries I doubt it, that will also add to our deficit.


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