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.