Gay Marriage Tests ‘Minnesota Nice’
This holiday season, Minnesotans in favor of same-sex marriage rights are being encouraged to talk politics and religion at the dinner table.
Turning a popular American adage on its head, Minnesotans United for All Families released a “Holiday Conversation Starter” just before Thanksgiving that encouraged families to engage in a “conversation about why marriage matters with the people you see every day.”
Minnesotans United’s goal is to defeat a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, which will be up for vote in November 2012. If the amendment fails, gay marriage won’t be legal in the Land of Lakes, but the legislature or state courts could eventually recognize it. To date, constitutional bans on same-sex marriage have passed by popular referendum in 29 other states. A ban has been rejected once, by Arizonans in 2006, though voters approved the same measure two years later.
After being seized by Republicans following landslide elections in 2010, the state legislature passed an amendment in May that defines marriage exclusively as a union between one man and one woman. The vote fell nearly along party lines, though four Republicans broke ranks and voted against the amendment, including freshman John Kriesel, who lost both legs in Iraq in 2006 while serving with the Minnesota National Guard.