Protests against Minnesota same-sex marriage ban proposal peaking
By Al Ortiz
ST. PAUL, Minnesota: Supporters of the same-sex marriage ban amendment in the state are beginning to face their opposition, as protests and rallies begin to mount against the potential 2012 ballot measure. The proposed legislatively-referred constitutional amendment would ban same-sex marriage in the state, but would leave open the possibility of same-sex civil unions. It is being sponsored by Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, Rep. Sondra Erickson and Sen. Paul Gazelka.
As the 2011 state legislative session draws to a near close, the heat is being turned up by gay rights activists, and other opponents of the measure. Governor Mark Dayton, speaking at a gay rights rally, stated, "I'm here to support those Minnesotans and Americans who want the same rights, freedoms, opportunity, respect, dignity and legal protections and legal opportunities as every other one of their fellow citizens... which is the founding principle of this country!"
In addition, a Change.org petition was made to encourage the Minnesota Democratic party to fight the ballot proposal. According to the petition: "Please be clear about where the DFL Party stands on LGBT equality. Please express your concerns about the looming dangers to LGBT equality in Minnesota. Please call all DFLer’s in MN to become concerned and active for the equal rights of LGBT Minnesotan’s.”
The debate even spread to the presidential race, as presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich was showered with glitter at a book signing in Minneapolis (dead link) by a protester of the same-sex marriage ban measure.
Supporters of the bill, however, are arguing with their counterparts by claiming that a public vote would protect marriage in the state. Same-sex marriage is already outlawed in the state, but proponents hope to reinforce the law with the proposed amendment. Pointing to the state of Iowa in which a similar ban was overturned by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2009, Sen. Paul Gazelka said, "I want to give the people of Minnesota the opportunity to protect the definition of marriage from activist judges."
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