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All DFL guv candidates back gay marriage: A wedge issue in the making?

All DFL guv candidates back gay marriage: A wedge issue in the making?
CORBIS/Philip James Corwin

Will Minnesota's 2010 race for governor be the next referendum on gay marriage?

That's an oversimplification, because there will be many very clear issue differences in that race, especially in the general election. But it's not as much of an exaggeration as you might think.

All 10 of the DFL candidates support the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Not civil unions -- the full Monty. Marriage, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereunto appertaining.

Some of the Dem candidates bring this up even in their brief two- or three-minute summaries of what they will do as governor. Former state Rep. Matt Entenza features prominently in the "issues" section of his campaign website that he co-authored the first bill that would have "redefined the legal definition of marriage to explicitly include two persons of the same gender." Others don't bring it up unless asked. But when asked, all say they will sign a same-sex marriage bill, although I gather the most current term for the idea is "marriage equality" (which is not an unreasonable term, but certainly has the whiff of the political Marketing Department about it).

None of the Republican gubernatorial candidates favor legalizing same-sex marriage.

In other words, leaving aside for the moment the Independence Party nominee (there are still no publicly known candidates from that party), the 2010 election will offer Minnesotans a fairly clear choice on, among other issues, gay marriage.

This story is all about movement, specifically movement on the political thinkability of gay marriage. If it seems intuitively obvious that the DFL would nominate a gay marriage advocate for governor, allow me to point out that it is unprecedented. With one possible exception, no major-party nominee for governor of Minnesota has ever been four-square for legalizing same-sex marriage.

The possible exception is state Sen. John Marty, who was the DFL nominee in 1994 and who is running for the nomination again this year (and who says that he expects to sign marriage equality into law within about three years). Marty says he has favored full equality for gays for many years, and did so in 1994, but doesn't recall whether his published positions that year included explicit reference to marriage. In fact, in 1994, legalized same-sex marriage was a left-fringe idea.

But let's talk about more recent history. In 2006, DFL nominee Mike Hatch explicitly stated that the word "marriage" was reserved for couples consisting of one man and one woman. Former state Sen. Steve Kelley was Hatch's chief rival for the 2006 DFL endorsement. Kelley recalls that he did not embrace full marriage rights for gays that year. He is a candidate again this year and does embrace full marriage equality.

All about movement

"I think it’s fair to say that I’ve moved," Kelley told me yesterday. "In 2006, I would’ve said civil unions, yes. Marriage, no. But I have become more comfortable saying, 'Let's just call it what it is -- marriage.' It will be a responsibility of the governor to have a conversation with Minnesotans and get them comfortable with that."

Kelley said that his own "journey" on the issue has a lot to do with having a gay brother. "If Jim and his partner decide to get married, I’d like to be able to go to his wedding in Minnesota, not in Iowa or California," Kelley said.

Until fairly recently, even gay marriage advocates felt that the M word was a political bridge too far, Kelley said. "But seeing the success of a gay marriage position in Iowa, a neighboring state with somewhat similar values, is one of those facts on the ground that has changed things," Kelley said. "It has changed the view of some folks in the GLBT community about how far and fast they would like to push the issue."

In 2008, all of the top tier Democratic presidential candidates (Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards) had essentially the same position, which was considered the politically smart liberal position at that time, which was that same-sex couples should have full rights to "civil unions," but not to "marriage."

Here's what Obama said, as candidate:

"I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

So, the fact that the DFL will almost certainly nominate a pro-gay-marriage candidate for governor can be taken as evidence that things are moving on this issue, and pretty quickly. To put it another way, it's reasonable to assume that — as has been the case ever since the gay marriage issue appeared on the political radar screen — no one who favored gay marriage could be nominated by the Republican Party for an important statewide office. But this latest development suggests that no one can win the DFL endorsement who opposes full marriage rights for gays and lesbians.

State Rep. Paul Thissen, who says yes, he favors the full marriage approach, also testifies to the movement on the issue. When he first ran for the Legislature in 2002, he said, all of the discussion about gay marriage was not about whether to legalize it, but whether to amend a one-man-one-woman definition of marriage into the state Constitution so no "activist" judge could change state law on the subject. Now, seven years later, you never hear about such an amendment, which could not pass in the Legislature. But there seems to be a growing possibility that a marriage equality bill could pass.

Wedge issue?

Let's assume that all of the candidates are sincere about wanting to legalize gay marriage as a matter of personal conscience and public policy. They are also politicians seeking election, so we must also assume that they believe emphasizing this issue is a political plus. And this calculation is surely true, as far as gaining the DFL endorsement and/or nomination.

But isn't it also quite possible that when the time comes to appeal to the statewide electorate, gay marriage will turn out to be one of those infamous wedge issues that Republicans can use to mobilize the social conservative base?

Of course, it is possible. University of Minnesota Law Professor Dale Carpenter, who is gay and a same-sex marriage advocate, thinks it's quite possible that the DFLers advocacy of gay marriage will be used as a wedge in the fall of 2010. Although the movement in favor of acceptance of same-sex marriage is palpable, and very welcome to Carpenter, he noted that gay marriage has been on the ballot as a referendum question 30 times around the country and "so far, we're 0 for 30."

He said that last week, before the big vote in Maine, where state voters were asked decide whether to strike down a law establishing marriage equality. When we spoke, I told Carpenter that the last pre-election polls showed a dead heat between yes and no votes. He replied that the pro-gay marriage side always did a few percentage points worse on Election Day than it did in the late polls. He was right. Mainers rejected gay marriage by about 53-47 percent.

"Marriage equality is not a majority position," Carpenter said. "Not nationally and not in Minnesota. So my guess would be that it's not going to turn out to be a plus, politically, in 2010." But then Carpenter doubled back and pointed out that Al Franken took an unequivocal position in favor of gay marriage in his campaign for the nomination, and Carpenter predicted that it would turn out to be "radioactive." (I wrote about this at the time, and about Mike Ciresi's fudging of the issue.) But, to Carpenter's surprise, he said, Republican Norm Coleman never made an issue of it against Franken. This example might also suggest that the DFL nominee for guv in 2010 won't necessarily face wedge issue ads on the marriage issue.

Carpenter also said that although gay marriage loses when it comes up in a referendum, it's hard to point to candidates who have lost elections because of a pro-gay-marriage position.

That gets back to something I mentioned at the top. The guv race will not really be a referendum on gay marriage. It will be a complicated mish-mash of referenda on many issues and non-issues. One DFL candidate I interviewed for this story, state Sen. Tom Bakk, (yes, he would sign a marriage equality bill, Bakk said, and yes, the fact that all candidates have the same position is a function of base politics, but he didn't seem to think my idea for this post was all that swift) said that the fiscal and economic issues besetting Minnesota should and must be the main topic of the campaign.

"The person that can connect with the public on that issue will be the next governor," Bakk said. "This election has nothing to do with the base. It has to do with what’s on the mind of swing voters and they're not gonna be thinking about social issues."

We'll see.

Ventura's position

p.s. Some of the people I talked to for this story believed that Minnesota has already had a pro-gay-marriage governor, namely Jesse Ventura. That's not quite right. In "Do I Stand Alone?," a book that Ventura brought out in 2000 in the middle of his term as Minnesota governor, he stopped short of the full Monty. He wrote:

"I support the idea of a legally recognized domestic partnership for gay couples. There are honors & privileges that go along with being in a permanent committed partnership, as well as responsibilities & benefits to society, and I don’t think that people should be denied the opportunity to achieve these things just because they love a person of the same sex.

"It often happens today that a committed gay couple isn’t permitted to function the way a committed (married) heterosexual couple would, [such as in hospital visitations]. Legalized gay partnerships would allow gays to become something they have never become before in the eyes of the law: family.

"But I draw the line at calling gay partnerships 'marriage.' Marriage is something different. My dictionary says marriage is a union between a man and a woman. I don’t think we need to be diluting that definition just to make sure gays have the privilege of being in a committed union. I think a term like 'domestic partnership' works fine."

More recently (2008), Ventura has described a different position based on separation of church and state. The state should get out of the business of defining marriage, Ventura said, but require as a matter of civil rights that all couples have equal rights, irrespective of gender. Then leave it to the churches to decide what kinds of unions they each want to sanctify with the M word, with no effect on the legal and economic rights of couples.

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Comments (29)

I believe this is not an issue that legislators should decide.

But if any candidate says s/he is willing to put it to the voters, I have no problem with that.

Thank you, Eric, for this excellent work. This civil rights issue is worthy of discussion, especially if we dems want to see a dem governor.

It'll be interesting to see if you are ostracized for bringing it up.

Here's what I see as the rub: Dem candidates should appeal to the base. I feel there is a metro area vs. rural area difference regarding "the base" and if it favors gay marriage.

I suggest we leave the word "marriage" out of the discussion and opt for immediate relief. Civil unions now.

John, I fully disagree. I'm fine with the legislature setting the standards here. Much more fine than I am with the idea of a legal ruling. In fact I'm pretty happy with the idea that leading Dems want a legislative solution here.
If this becomes a larger issue, I'd like to see pro gay marriage groups run ads that emphasize some of the very normal couples that would benefit greatly here. If they go negative and thuggish like the in California, they will only do harm. I'm not optimistic.

I don't understand why the State of Minnesota is in the "marriage" business, instead of simply civil union business.

Every time i hear someone object to gay "marriage" the argument seems rooted in religious belief about what constitutes marriage.

I think private organizations (such as religious groups) ought be the ones to worry about "marriage."

The state should keep away from that religious construct "marriage", should equate benefits of civil union to those currently offered to married couples, and then just record as a civil union under state law any "marriage" presented by to it by a human adult couple

John, this is NOT an issue for the voters to decide.

In Minnesota this issue is, thankfully, beyond the reach of the legislature.

Before homosexuals are allowed to "marry" in Minnesota, two things will have to happen:

1. The Minnesota Constitution will have to be changed.

2. Pro-homosexual activists will have to convince a majority of Minnesota voters to approve that change.

Seeing that "gay marriage" activists have racked up a 0 for 31 record across the country (including having gone down in flames in California), neither of the above has an ice cube's chance in hell of happening.

Given those realities, the thoughtful reader is left to conclude that it is the Democrat party that is using this dead horse as a wedge issue.

Conservatives believe that an adult's choice of consensual sexual activity is a private matter. We really wish that the left would stay out of people's bedrooms.

Thanks Eric!

While it's great to see all DFL candidates finally say they will support gay marriage - some do so much more courageously than others. The sentence "Others don't bring it up unless asked" is inaccurate - and should really be changed to "most others...” because Senator Marty was way ahead of the curve on this, as he has been with so many other important issues. That's the leadership, vision and courage Minnesotans deserve! To John, and those of us who support him, this important subject is about much more than political careers and the next election. It's about people's lives, it's about basic human rights, and it's about doing what is right.

Senator John Marty not only includes this topic in the issues section of hic campaign website (http://www.johnmarty.org/issues/gay-rights), but there are also a number links on his website to other stories that feature his outspoken stance on Marriage Equality, including:

http://theprogressivecatholicvoice.blogspot.com/2009/06/we-can-make-it-h...

http://www.startribune.com/politics/state/41366017.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQ...

http://minnesotaindependent.com/36471/pine-city-pride-endures-despite-ri...

This third story is about the Pride in the Park Event in Pine City. Senator Marty was the ONLY candidate to speak at, or even attend, that event. Senator Marty was also the ONLY candidate who attended the recent Pride Fest in Mankato. He was also one of the few who attended the Duluth Pride Fest, where he was recognized for his work on the Marriage Equality Bill.

Some talk the talk, John Marty walks the walk. That's the kind of Governor we all deserve. It's time for marriage equality in MN. It's time for John Marty as Governor.

Why not simply separate Civil Marriage from Religious Marriage?
In Civil Marriage you enter into a civil contract, certain rights, priviledges and responsibilities go with that contract. To break that contract you go to court and use the legal process as with any other contract. You can go to any County Courthouse and get married now as long as you are of the opposite sex.

If we fully separate the Civil and Religious aspects than it is simply a matter of equal protection and clearly unconstitutional. Allowing same sex Civil Marriage would confer no legal obligations on any religion since the religion can longer implement the Civil Contract.

In Religious Marriage you are asking your particular religion to confer its blessing on your Civil Marriage. It doesn't need to have anything to do with the civil contract part. No religion should be required to recognize a marriage outside of its religious tradition or standards, and conversely no civil marriage needs the blessing of any religion.

These are two separate functions that should have nothing to do with one another. the State should NOT confer on any religion the ability to enter into or enforce a civil contract.

Gary, why shouldn't the voters have some say on a matter of social policy? We let them (through the legislature) vote on all kinds of things. Why should this issue be different? And if your answer has something to do with being afraid that they won't agree with you, well, that doesn't make you very sympathetic.

And Thomas, can you expand on your argument for how the Minnesota constitution would need to be changed before the legislature could vote on same sex marriage? My understanding is that it currently doesn't address the issue at all.

Putting the idea to a popular vote is a terrible solution. The situation has been framed in a such a manner that people are supporting and calling for discrimination. There is a lot of hate involved. The US Constitution was created to protect all of us, not just some of us, and the US Supremes need to intervene. We're deep into the situation, and voters have voted for hate and discrimination without realizing the true consequences.

I truly believe the word "marriage" is our trouble.

And why didn't the US Supreme enter into the discussion after California's Proposition 8? The timing then would have been much better than the timing a few years down the road. Somebody answer me that.

Dem Gub cands #mn2010 should start asking and listen to all areas of Minnesota. And then, if they hear what I think they will hear, they might try saying "I didn't realize how many people feel about gay marriage until I started to ask. I support civil unions and an immediate end to discrimination and the pain associated with it."

I'm arguing against my own values. If you ask me, I think gay marriage should be allowed and I would vote for it. But after helping a few candidates across the state, I began realizing many people do not think like I do and they are single issue voters.

Dem candidates should ask around (instead of just asking metro area constituents or liberal dem activists like me)

Note:
One of the purposes of the U.S. Constitution was to provide protection from the 'tyranny of the majority'.
That's how a republic differs from government by referendum (democracy/mob rule).
There's a valid question of which minority rights should be protected despite their public unpopularity.

Even after reading this fairly good article does anyone know of some fairly conclusive sophisticated polling data that hints at how this would play out in the next election? It is probably out there (but not readily available to the general public) and/or it is able to be gathered with enough resources thrown at it. And the respective parties will throw resources at it if they want to gain or hold power.
And you know we will probably be talking about it and forgetting some of the fiscal problems at Hennepin County Medical Center cause its just too damn depressing.

When the suffrage movement was in full swing, they didn't rely on judicial rulings to give women the right to vote. You could easily argue that the a combination of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments should have cleared the way. Instead, they went the long hard route to convince the nation to overcome chauvinism and allow women full voting rights.
Why don't supporters of gay marriage want the people to vote? Apparently they don't want to do the hard work of convincing their fellow citizens of the justness of their position. They want to just sit back and accuse the opposition of bad faith and 'hatred'. Well, good luck with that.
I keep hearing that the future is on their side and it's only a matter of time. Anti-gay sentiment certainly does seem to be waning. So get out there and convince the rest! It may take time but it's worth it. If the day comes that a clear majority decides that same sex marriage should be permissible then it will be a SETTLED ISSUE. We'll be spared the judicial fiat that had kept abortion as a continuing problem. Isn't that worth something?

And we make legislative limitations on rights all of the time. Ask gun owners if the legislature ever makes decisions on their basic rights. Or think of campaign finance reform and it's effect on first amendment rights. The idea that voters should have no say when it comes to rights is bizarre and ahistorical.

Thomas,

52% and 53% are not "going down in flames."

Also, It's completely accurate to say that same sex marriage has an 0-31 record. It took the anti-forces two bites of the apple to get a constitutional ban through in Arizona, as the first attempt in 2006 failed.

There was also the vote in Washington that passed, billed as granting "everything but the name."

As I see it, the anti forces are standing against an inevitable tide. The anti forces are winning their votes by smaller and smaller margins.

Anyone pressing for gay and lesbian marraige today is wishing for failure. I fully support legal marraige for our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors but would urge activists and political hopefuls to cool their jets and go for civil unions as a first step. This is a largely generational issue in my view. My wife and I are retired and in no way represent our age group in supporting gay marraige. But our adult children are strong supporters and I believe that their kids will be even more so. As the old saying goes, patience is a virtue. Now that the public is seemingly spooked by the concept of "marraige", I believe that the public will embrace civil union. Go for what you can get!!

I agree with the previous poster who said that the State needs to get out of the "marriage" business entirely.

One first step is to define "Civil Union" and open it up to all couples as an alternative. After enough of us heteros opt for it, the whole "marriage" nonsense becomes a strictly religious institution as it belongs quietly and without fuss.

I also agree that in a generation this will not be an issue at all. We need relief now, so let's get what we can.

Here's my concern:

>The state recognizes gay marriage.

>A catholic priest, acting on pain of excommunication, refuses to witness the marriage of a gay couple.

>The gay couple sues, seeking to force the priest to witness the marriage, and seeking millions in damages.

>The courts find for the plaintiffs.

>The legislature acts, depriving churches of the right to witness the marriages of their members.

>All marriages, to be recognized, must take place before a civil magistrate.

And here are my reasons for that concern:

It might be helpful to recall that until the 15th century or so in the western world, no one was required to "witness" a marriage for it to be valid. (See Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.) This caused problems when someone wanted to later separate and form a new union, so laws were changed to require that to be "valid" a marriage had to be witnessed by the church or the state. Even today, some places (incuding in the U.S.) recognize "common law" marriages -- ones that result from uninterrupted cohabitation for a period of time.

This did not become an issue until -- in the U.S., anyway, a series of legal "advantages," both social and economical, were attached to those in the married state. This resulted in unequal treatment for those, such as gays and brothers and sisters, who were unable to legally marry.

Some of the disparities are social, such as the right to be present at the bedside of a sick partner. Some are economical, such as the right to inherit tax-free, or to obtain health insurance for a partner.

In our culture as in most others, certain privileges and obligations have been reserved by custom, law, or practice to women or to men or to the aged or to the young, or to one race or another, or to legal citizens vs aliens.

These reservations, when they caused unfair treatement of one group or another, have been settled by changing the laws to reduce or eliminate the unfair treatment.

They have NOT been resolved by changing women into men, or children into senior citizens, or blacks into whites, or Jews into Christians.

"Married Person" is not a "religious" term. It is one that for thousands of years has been given to a man or woman in a relatively permanent conjugal relationship.

It relates to the birthing and upbringing of children, and reflects a normal desirable status that fosters the well-bing of the race. It predates our laws, though not always our customs.

It's roots go back to prehistoric times. It has always been fostered because it promotes a basic need of the race, it responds to normal human instincts and desires, and it is the "normal" basic social institution.

It seems to me that those who press for the terms "marriage" and "married person" to remove the economic benefits should work to change laws regarding those economic benefits.

It seems to me that those who press for these terms to remove specific social barriers should work to change the specific barriers.

It seems to me that those who press for these terms to achieve recognition of their status as another "normal" have a harder row to hoe: it is not likely that human society will ever grant this type of recognition because it flies in the face of the basic needs of that society. Tolerance is, I believe, the best these persons can hope for.

And this does NOT include tolerance of promiscuous behavior, another thing proven over centuries to bring about dissolution of the society in which it flourishes. (Refer Africa).

These are not simply "religious" issues -- they are questions the race has long formed its stand on in the furtherance of the race, by trial and error. Those who wish to resurrect the errors the race has already judged will not change its decisions, Marx's claims notwithstanding.

Were Jesus to return to Earth, he might be excused for guessing that the "Defense of Marriage Act" that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996 had something to do with the prohibition of divorce.

How disappointed, then, Jesus would be to discover that the "Defense of Marriage Act" has nothing at all to do with the prohibition of divorce but is, instead, a law that prevents the creation of new marriages--namely, gay marriages. The Savior, who never spoke a word about homosexuality, would need to have a young conservative activist explain to him that though this law does not prevent civil unions between gays, it has succeeded rather well, until just recently, in barring the path to gay marriage.

"If your people are determined to bring your country into accord with my teaching," he would say, "then let them dissolve all second marriages and write my prohibition of divorce into their Constitution. But if they insist on overruling that prohibition, then let them look to their other prohibitions and consider revising them as well. For how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the mote out of your eye,' when there is a beam in your own?" (Matthew 7:4).

And then Jesus would take his leave, saying to his young friend in his steely and unflinching way, "He who can take this, let him take it" (Matt. 19:18).

Perhaps the government should get out of the culture war business and stop trying govern what goes on in the bedroom or between consenting adults. One would think that this would be an issue that any conservative could get behind with the specter of more government intrusion into our lives. Kinda sounds to me like some more of that socialism, government getting in the way of its citizens making their own personal decisions.

Made to order for the Republicans - elect me and I will keep your taxes low and I will never allow Gay marriage.

If the DFL candidate takes the opposite position on these two issues - it will be a redux of Virginia 2009

John's objections and concerns seem to be misplaced. All he has to do is look at current practice to realize that.

The Catholic church has never been required to witness or perform marriages for inter-religious couples, divorced persons, or non-Catholics.

Nor am I aware of any church being required to perform or witness interracial marriages if they are so opposed.

I also disagree with him that society will never grant that type of recognition. Albania recently became the first Muslim majority country to grant same sex marriage recognition. The US is being left in the dust of the rest of the world on this issue.

Sometimes I think that the icon of the Republican party should be the dead straw horse.

On What Would Jesus Say:

Jesus never spoke about nuclear war. It was not a topic of discussion.

Slavery was common in the Roman Empire of His time. He did not address that. It was a given in His society, and not a topic of discussion. (He did stress we are all equal before God.)

War was largely a business of professional armies, and was nothing like the global conflicts with risks to whole nations of civilians. He did not address that. It was not a topic of discussion

Jesus addressed the question of divorce because between the Pharisees and the Sadducees it was a topic of discussion. And His response was to cite scripture in defense of the permanency of the marital relationship.

And Jesus did not address the question of gay marriage -- because it was not a topic of discussion. In the Jewish society of His time there was no need: sexual activity between persons of the same sex was viewed with abhorrence, as it had been for a thousand years and would be for another two thousand years. Only in pagan societies was it viewed differently, and early Christians adopted the Jewish views without recorded question.

Such activity is still viewed by most Christians with the same disapproval, viewed as a distortion of the divinely intended use of sexual powers much like rape and the sexual abuse of children: it may happen, but not with moral or social approval.

Not all agree, of course. But I believe the reason most of those pushing for homosexual and lesbian acceptance as an equal and acceptable "alternate lifestyle" do not want to subject their proposed law changes to the general public is that they know full well that most people would not agree with them. And they do not see the topic as one for discussion.

Amending laws which have inadvertently worked to the economic or social disadvantage of those who engage in such behavior might be tolerated -- but not at the price of social acceptance of the behavior, particularly when it is promiscuous.

As a conservative thinker (once liberal, abandoned by the left) I am quite reluctant to abandon the views of the biblical writers, who saw the punishment of Sidon as a right and just consequence of their behavior.

It would be fair to say that during Jesus' time, the minority were persecuted and dealt with according to the brutal standards of the time.

As such Jesus had religious and political views that were clearly not in the mainstream. And the majority in power dealt with Jesus and his minority following according to the standards of the time. Which was both a very brutal and visual lesson to those in the minority.

If anyone is interested, I added my thoughts on how to approach the US Supreme court here: http://bit.ly/1Q4U6M

John you're not following social trends very well.

Ten-fifteen years ago, people overwhelmingly opposed same marriage, civil unions for gays. Go back just a few more years, and a majority even supported arresting people simply for being gay.

Since then, the majority for each of those positions has dwindled. Almost no one supports arresting gays for their mere existence. A majority support civil unions, and a much smaller majority oppose same sex marriage.

If you break down those polls, you find that same sex marriage actually even has majority support among the younger demographics. Time is on their side.

And as I mentioned in my earlier comment,the trends even in referendums to ban gay marriage are in their favor. A trend I expect will probably pick up it's pace as people realize that the reality of same sex marriage in the sex states that it is now legal just doesn't impact them (and the older, opposed population dies off).

The research site fivethirtyeight.com backs up the summary that David Galitz (#26) provided. It has a number of different articles on the subject, including demographic data that shows that the younger you are, the more likely you are to support gay marriage. The most serious opponents to gay marriage are above 65 year old.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/search/label/gay rights

David,

As an "over 65er" I think I will maintain my position, thank you.

And I won't worry about the polls much, except for the one at the voting booth, where I believe the other polls will get surprises.

I have stated my views on the problems with polls elsewhere. Don't trust 'em. Never have. With less than a 30% differential I reject them out of hand.

I asked all the candidates (except Bakk) if they would get involved at the local, to defeat anti-equality DFLers, and openly endorse pro-equality challengers.

Those answering "YES": Entenza, Gaertner, Rybak, Dayton

Those answering "MAYBE/PROBABLY": Thissen, Marty, Rukavina... See More

Those answering "NO because that's not the role of the party leader": Kelley, Kelliher