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It's back! GOP introduces ban on gay marriages ... again

MORNING EDITION

It’s baaaaaaack, and ... why you could knock me over with a feather ... just in time for next year’s ballot. Today’s laser-like jobs-generating legislation from the Legislature’s GOP majority is … a ban on gay marriage. Dave Orrick’s story in the PiPress says: “The plan, contained in a bill to be introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, is for the amendment to be placed on the 2012 general election ballot. Same-sex marriage already is banned under decades-old Minnesota law upheld by the state Supreme Court, so the amendment, if passed, would have no practical effect on anyone. But Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said nothing would be as iron-clad as defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman in the Minnesota Constitution. Without it, there's still a risk, he said, of ‘allowing a number of politicians or, heaven forbid, activist judges to decide what marriage should be.’ Democratic-Farmer-Labor lawmakers responded by calling the idea a divisive distraction to the issue that leaders of both parties have agreed is top priority right now: passing a state budget. ‘What family does this help in Minnesota, especially in this time of need?’ asked Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, answering the question himself: ‘Absolutely no one.' " Maybe it’s time to try some linkage of these rabble-rousing initiatives. You know, like a state ID for gays in committed relationships? To prevent fraud, you understand.


Casino workers and other supporters of Indian casinos Tuesday protested various legislation rattling around St. Paul for the state to get more involved in gambling. Don Davis of the Forum papers writes: “President Victoria Winfrey of the Prairie Island Indian Community said her group’s Treasure Island Casino could lose 300 jobs if racinos were approved. The Indian community government and casino resort employ 1,700, she said, the area’s larger employer. While tribal groups oppose any new gambling, including allowing video gambling machines in bars, they most strongly oppose racino proposals. ‘I don’t think that would have the same type of effect,’ Winfrey said of gambling in bars. Winfrey said that although the economy is improving, and along with it casino revenue, business remains slower than before the recession, so this is not the time to siphon customers away.”

Tim Nelson of MPR notes that despite the state GOP’s official position against expanded gambling, former GOP state auditor-turned-lobbyist Pat Anderson has now added Canterbury to her portfolio of clients: “Anderson isn't making any apologies. She points to a 2003 racino bill passed by House Republicans that gave the state auditor authority to look through casino books around the state — a measure she says she supported. She also pointed out that more than a dozen current Republican members of the legislature (as well as now-Congressman Erik Paulsen) voted for that bill eight years ago. Nobody should be surprised that she's a racino proponent, Anderson says. She'd been one long before she went on the party's ballot. ‘I look at it from a pure free market position and a competition position,’ Anderson said in an interview. ‘We have given an unregulated, untaxed monopoly to the Indian tribes, and not one dime in Minnesota goes back to the taxpayers, and I think that's just wrong for many, many reasons, and we should be getting on board and supporting some of these other proposals.' " You’d think the GOP would admire and respect the Indians’ completely tax-free status and seek to protect it, on principle, you know.

The mother of the guy accused in the car-on-the-sidewalk killing of the student in Dinkytown is now herself in jail, facing the same $1 million bail as her son. Abby Simons of the Strib reports: “Diane Patricia Bakdash, 66, of Roseville, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with being an accomplice after the fact, a felony. Charges came on the same day her son, Timothy Ayman Bakdash, 29, first appeared on charges of second-degree intentional murder and assault. Diane Bakdash was arrested Monday evening as she attempted to visit her son in the county jail. A criminal complaint filed Tuesday accuses her of helping him sell his damaged car to someone who planned to immediately repair its smashed windshield and dented body. The buyer told police he received the car's title bearing the mother's signature. According to charges, the buyer, who agreed to buy Bakdash's Mitsubishi Galant for $1,500, heard Diane Bakdash tell her son over the phone to ‘get rid of the car that night.' "

Veteran concert promoter Randy Levy writes a commentary for the Strib on the highly arcane topic of “ticket broker bots”: “Minnesota legislators are being asked by Stub Hub and others to support a bill that would outlaw efforts supported by all major Minnesota venues, concert promoters, the State Fair and sports teams. To prevent scalpers from getting in ahead of consumers when tickets go on sale, venues are selling "nontransferable paperless e-tickets" for certain seats at certain concerts and events. A nontransferable paperless ticket is a ticket whose receipt is the digital paperless domain of your own mobile telephone. It means that the person in whose name one buys the ticket actually has to want to go to the show. This effectively blocks ticket broker "bots" from scarfing up the best seats to a show and then offering them back to the highest bidder at scalped prices. Legislation ... would prohibit such consumer protection.”

HIV infections in Minnesota dropped from last year but remain disturbingly high. The Strib story, by Jeremy Herb, says: “While the 72 new infections among males age 13 to 24 last year was a decline from the 78 new cases in 2009, both figures were sharply higher than annual totals over the past decade. ‘That's alarming,’ said Peter Carr, who directs HIV surveillance for the Minnesota Department of Health. ‘We still don't have a solid explanation, but it's likely to be related to complacency — particularly among young gay men, and the fact that HIV is not as scary as it used to be’,' Carr said. ‘It's still a life-changing event, but it's typically not as fatal as it was’ in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Minneapolis made another “Best” list. This time it’s National Geographic Traveler’s “10 Best Trips of 2011.” They say: “Snow can fall here from October to April, so the arrival of warm weather launches a full throttle, June-August celebration of arts, music, and cultural festivals (check out the Minneapolis Aquatennial, July 16-24); farmers markets ... and fan-friendly Minnesota Twins baseball (played downtown at Target Field — ranked the top sports stadium in North America by ESPN The Magazine). Survey the vibrant scene from the new CRAVE restaurant rooftop patio near the State Theatre, then grab a bike at the nearest Nice Ride Minnesota kiosk ($5 plus trip fees) and cruise all or part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, a 50-mile urban trail loop. With 22 city lakes and the mighty Mississippi, playing on, in or near the water always is an option.”  But no stops at Nye’s or Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den? Philistines!

Fit that man with a Green Beret! T-Paw wants special forces in Libya, ASAP. Kendra Marr, Politico’s designated T-Paw watcher, writes: “Pawlenty is suggesting the use of American special forces on the ground in Libya to remove Muammar Qadhafi from power. ‘I think when you say Qadhafi’s got to go, you need to, Qadhafi’s got to go,’ Pawlenty told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday night. ‘So I don’t think we want to put troops on the ground under these circumstances, but additional resources in terms of special forces, limited, as well as communications capability and other enabling technologies and people, I think, would be a good use of it.’ The former Minnesota governor said such actions would have been more effective in ‘early March.’ The delay, Pawlenty said, is an example of President Barack Obama’s ‘uncertainty, the tardiness, the equivocation, and the sermonizing’ in absence of leadership.” Technically, Mr. Pawlenty, I think special forces in Libya would be ... "troops on the ground."

Today in Bachmannia: A little problem with our favorite congresswoman’s Lincoln history. Ben Smith at Politico writes: “Bachmann's speaking cameo in Newt Gingrich's latest film about history has a misattributed quotation — mangling Lincoln and adding a twist of Kennedy when she says, ‘Will this latest generation, as Abraham Lincoln so famously said, will this latest generation hand that torch of liberty to the next generation’?" A reader wrote in to Smith saying, “President Lincoln did, in fact, use the phrase ‘lamp of liberty’ in his debates with Douglas: ‘I leave you hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.’ Even if you gift the substitution of torch for lamp, Lincoln didn't say anything about passing it from one generation to another. That was Kennedy.” But this is niggling. The larger point is that the sooty torch of our freedoms is being snuffed out by socialist, gangster government!

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Comments (20)

The ban on gay marriage is ridiculous. Studies show that married people are on average slightly happier, healthier, and wealthier than their single counterparts. Therefore, it is in the State's best economic interest to grant marriage equality.
It is time to stop scapegoating gay people.

The Republicans who control both the Minnesota House and Senate need to get their budget bills completed. Period.

Tommy, Tommy Tommy...when will you learn? Being "happier and wealthier" is a domain reserved exclusively for Republicans, not the general populace.

Just out of curiosity, how much does it cost to amend the MN Constitution? I'm betting it's not free. Just like voter ID: a complete waste of my tax $$$.

I never really expected the GOP legislature to live up to its promise of reducing government waste and creating jobs. Even so, I'm amazed at the gluttonous orgy of strictly ideological social legislation that this legislature has indulged itself with. Gun control, scientific research, reproductive choice, marriage. You name it, they've targeted it.

It is abundantly clear that the GOP's supposed concern for the economy has never been more than a decoy for dishonest, freedom hating radical right-wing social conservatives.

Gosh, what else could bring out the haters like the notion of putting the definition of marriage to a vote by the people?

What is everyone here so afraid of?

It almost rises to the level of anti-Bachmann personal vitriol syndrome.

BL: "Today’s laser-like jobs-generating legislation from the Legislature’s GOP majority is … a ban on gay marriage."

So, Bri, we add you to the list of the deluded who think it is government's role to create jobs.

In the same sentence decrying the protection of the definition of marriage, the very foundation of our society.

Sigh.

Former Gov. Pawlenty is clearly just throwing various "Obama is wrong no matter what he does" statements at the wall to see if he can get ANYTHING to stick.

I have complete confidence that if Obama had done, back in March, what Pawlenty now says he SHOULD have done, Pawlenty would have vehemently attacked him for doing it.

Each day Mr. Pawlenty further embarrasses himself by proving he has absolutely NO moral or ethical center but is willing to say anything to any subgroup of conservatives in order to try to win their support while proving that he actually believes NOTHING but only seeks to further his own ambitions.

Meanwhile, in the legislature, our Republican friends prove, day after day, that they have ABSOLUTELY ZERO idea of how to create jobs in this state.

But of course with their money goggles firmly in place, all those folks who are in legitimate need of state help (including all those without jobs) are simply invisible to them.

Through their money goggles, they only see, they only hear, they only care about those who have, or appear to have large amounts of money.

There are many people who are suffering in our state, but the frame of reference of our Republican friends; the worldview their dysfunctions require them to wrap around themselves, filters out and renders invisible and inaudible everything else but the loud, pathetic whining of those whose incomes have moved far beyond the dreams of avarice...

and those whose ardent dreams of joining that class, dreams which will forever be denied, cause them to whine on behalf of those who are clearly NOT suffering,

regarding how pathetically hurt those folks will feel if asked to pay a bit more in taxes,...

Thus does the whining of the rich completely drown out the weeping of the future mourners at the funerals of those who will die for lack of food, shelter, clothing, nursing homes, home health care and all other forms of medical care...

The Republican's corrupt, immoral, unethical, and completely unnecessary constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is nothing but an attempt to distract their base from all the many and countless ways that the Republicans have sought to destroy their own lives, their communities, their schools and all the various infrastructures of the state during this year's legislative session.

They hope (in vain, I suspect) that despite all the damage they've tried to do, despite all their efforts to further impoverish the poor while further enriching the rich, their former supporters will return to the fold because...

THE WORLD WILL COME TO AN END! if we let those two, solid-citizen, pleasant, hard working, nice young men (or women) who live together down the street actually get married and form a family.

(When, what would REALLY happen to the rest of us is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!)

Of course I'll believe the "Christian" stance against gay marriage just as soon as those Christians agree to follow EACH AND EVERY ONE of the other things spelled out by the Levitical Code.

Lacking that, they are, and will continue to reveal themselves to be bigoted hypocrites who are blaming God for their hypocrisy (and I promise them, God is NOT AMUSED).

To be fair, I don't think Republican's concerns for economic issues were actually a "decoy", per se. They just have a very different goal they are trying to reach (Think Dark Ages Europe. On the social issues, too, now that I mention it.)

They want jobs (for their flunkies) and freedom (for themselves)... just from a different perspective than others might assume...

@BD Maginnis: Huh. I always thought the fundie right-wing position was that it was God and God alone that decided what the definition of "marriage" was. Nice to see you coming around.

Now, I personally have no problem with putting it to a vote. It's somewhat a waste of money (especially since we alrady have a law in place that speaks to the topic, in your apparent favor, I believe), but hey, after all, we have plenty of cash at the state and local levels right now, right?

Just as with all the legal efforts to attempt to stymie miscegenation last century, we need another topic we can beat to death, and look like utter hatred-filled fools with regards to, to future generations. Not that they'll learn any more than we did... but every little bit helps, I guess.

If the progress for civil rights had been dependent upon a referendum vote from "ordinary Americans", Americans would have voted down desegregation, kept laws against miscegenation, and held back countless protections for the rights of their fellow citizens in various minorities, on the job, etc...and of course, women would probably still be shut out of voting, education, jobs, sports, and birth control. An appeal to the masses is nearly always a move to turn back the clock, or even to keep it from ticking at all. (Hourglasses!Let's go back to hourglasses!) And they allow gay marriage in Iowa! Come on, Minnesota!

"So, Bri, we add you to the list of the deluded who think it is government's role to create jobs."

No, he's mocking the claims of the incoming Minnesota Republicans that jobs would be their focus. Apparently they thought it was the government's role to, if not "create jobs", then at least enact policy that supports job creation. And while I disagree with their ideas on policy that supports job creation (puzzlingly it involves gutting education and infrastructure) they're not even doing that.

Prop 8 was overturned in the courts in California because it violated the equal protection clause in the 14th amendment of the US constitution. Why don't they wait until the Supreme Court rules on that before we spend a ton of money doing the same thing in Minnesota.

I don't get the Republican strategy here. Because of their efforts this year teachers now hate them, public workers now hate them, Indian tribes now hate them, senior citizens now hate them, gays now hate them, minorities now hate them. The only people who are going to vote for them are bigoted, right-wing, white, religious zealots who are either one issue voters or extremely wealthy.

Social conservatives are on the wrong side of history. Gays are being allowed to marry, and the Supreme Court will eventually uphold these marriages. It's just a matter of time (that's little consolation to gay men and women, I know).

So since the GOP can't actually prevent gay marriage from becoming legal throughout the US, this political maneuver is really about winning at any cost. With a volitile social issue amendment on the ballot, the GOP base is more likely to go to the polls. And that's doubly important in a presidential election when the GOP is not fielding a serious candidate who will motivate Republicans to go to the polls.

It makes me cringe to think of the poisonous political ads for this amendment that will flood the airwaves in 2012. It will be a GOP hate orgy.

Since there already is a state law (rightly or wrongly) in effect,an important idea is being missed:

2012 is coming.

There will be an increase of speaking/pandering to both parties' bases.This call for constitutional change may be no more than an Independent-Republican party effort to speak to their base. Other talking points are voter registration rules,"No New Taxes" pledges,and President Obama's birth certificate.
Just another way for getting the "correct" people to the voting booth.

Klein, I'll put you down as pro-tax cuts for business then, right?

Julia, you DO know who enacted the Jim Crow laws, right?

BD

Since when are "rights" determined by the majority. NEVER, that's when. Every time they try, the courts knock the barrier down.

By the way, from a purely economic standpoint, if we put this gay-hating piece of junk in our constitution, Minnesota business can pretty much say goodbye to about 10 percent of their most creative, most productive employees. And those jobs will not be filled by right-wing, homophobes who don't have enough creativity to think for themselves. If it passes, it will be a reversal of 50 years of what made Minnesota great.

Allowing slots in bars and restaurants would generate much more business and thus much more competition for the tribal casinos. But...it doesn't have a prayer of passing and the tribes know that. So, they're saying that the Racino is the big job killer--the big bad wolf that will injure their poor little tax-free monopoly. Garbage. Most of the jobs created by the Racino will be in equine-related businesses and in agriculture. You know the expression "eats like a horse". Hopefully, with the tribes bought-and-paid-for DFL leadership out of power, the Racino will finally pass.

As a business owner of 15+ years, tax cuts for business is the biggest red herring I have ever seen. Show me a business owner that is making workforce decisions based on their corp tax bill, and I'll show you a business owner that will soon be bankrupt.

You make workforce expansion/contraction decisions based on productivity and projected sales opportunities. Period. The _location_ of your workforce might be impacted by comparative tax rates... but even that is only one of many factors you should be considering.

Corp taxes in MN are based on _profit_ only, and are a fixed percentage < 100 (9.8% in MN). Is there truly anyone moronic enough to forego additional $10 profit because it means paying $1 more in tax? If so, I hope they work in my industry... easy pickings.

IMO, anyone who barfs up the tired old canard about driving widespread hiring with business tax cuts can be safely ignored as a moron.

No, I'm not. I think I made it pretty clear I don't agree with their theories on how to create jobs; I only pointed out they're not doing them.

Well stated Craig!

These same tired arguments were used in the early to mid-1980's. The right-wing snake-oil purveyors of that pre-internet era would have had you believe that Minnesota was going to empty out.

Didn't happen. Employment actually grew.

The irony here, of course, is that most of the Republicans of that era who howled about "business climate" then would not even come close to meeting minimum qualifications for being a Republican in 2011.