Put legalizing same-sex marriage on the fast track

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
DFLers are a cautious bunch, but legalizing same sex marriage is a good, fair policy.

I hate to disagree with Senate leadership right off the bat but I think Senator Bakk is making a mistake by not putting the repeal of the Minnesota DOMA law on the immediate agenda.

The amendment fight was a hard one. People in the VOTE NO campaign invested a lot….time, money, their heart and soul.

The vote on the amendment had MORE votes than in the Presidential election….Yes — MORE votes. That is unheard of… unprecedented. After all that blood, sweat and tears, the DFL Senate is telling them, you are back to square one.

Here are my reasons for putting same-sex marriage up for a legislative vote…

1) The VOTE NO campaign deserves their day. I am not sure that the DFL would be sitting on majorities right now without the ground swell of support against the amendment and the enormous participation in the campaign. Granted, some districts that supported the amendment also sent Democratic legislators and they will have to make tough decisions, but an up or down vote is deserved.

2) I can’t imagine that the majority of the electorate doesn’t assume there will be a vote on this. To sit on an illegal status quo will be a surprise to many who did not understand the full ramifications of what that vote meant.

3) Democrats need to solidify a constituency with the youth vote. They came out in force. To disappoint them now might turn all of this into a bad memory. If its politics as usual, cynicism may rule the day again.

4) The timing is now…as soon as possible. If same-sex marriage is legalized, people will have two years to see that it is not something diabolical and that it will not have negative effects on traditional culture. 

DFLers are a cautious bunch. Sometimes I believe they think too much. But this is good policy. Fair policy. It needs to happen.

This post was written David Mindeman and originally published on mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog. Follow Dave on Twitter: @newtbuster.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 11/13/2012 - 07:55 pm.

    Not so fast.

    According to the Secretary of State’s results, 1.399,813 (48.2%) voted yes; 1,506,048 (51.8%) voted no – a real difference of 3.6%. 1,399,318 voters or 48.2% is not an insignificant number of people.

    The no vote was to prevent the law from being placed into the Minnesota Constitution. It was not a referendum on “same sex marriage” itself.

    Don’t push your luck, Mr. Mindeman.

  2. Submitted by Sarah Silander on 11/14/2012 - 02:34 am.

    Repeal DOMA — please postpone to 2014 session

    Mr. Mindeman, It is logical that you want to take advantage of the momentum generated by defeating the marriage amendment.

    But, making the defeat of DOMA a priority in the 2013 session would be unfair to thousands of Minnesotans still struggling to recover from the Great Depression as it would draw focus away from this year’s more pressing issues.

    Session track records clearly show that our legislators are not very productive nor are they adept at juggling several major items at once. If we want to pass good legislation and end on time, we must insist that legislators to take up a small number of new issues.

    Some examples of poor legislative focus and low productivity include last year’s “jobs, jobs, jobs” priority. That mantra disappeared into a black hole by the end of the session. Also, in the last few years they mucked around until the last minute and the biggest deals didn’t get done until the last hours of the session.

    Some issues that deserve a higher priority than DOMA this year include un/underemployment, budget deficit, healthcare programs and budgets, and Minnesota’s healthcare exchange.

    These items impact thousands more people than the number of GLBT’s who want to marry in this state.

    So please, postpone defeating DOMA until 2014 so that legislators can give maximum attention to getting other matters right this year. Waiting one year won’t jeopardize getting SSM legalized because support for it is now so strong it can only continue to grow.

    • Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 11/14/2012 - 06:26 pm.

      Don’t count on it.

      Sarah Silander wrote:

      “Waiting one year won’t jeopardize getting SSM legalized because support for it is now so strong it can only continue to grow.”

      Your side doesn’t have the long term demographics. The people who are against “same sex marriage” in Minnesota is at least 48% (from the last election) if not more. Don’t let the recent ballot question fool you. There’s an important distinction between writing normal marriage into the constitutional and passing a law allowing people of the same sex should be able to get “married”.

  3. Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/14/2012 - 06:04 am.

    So in other words

    You ONLY won the election, its not like that means you get to make like, decisions and stuff. Straight out of the right wing playbook, win when you win, win when you lose, just pretend the other side is beholden to your interests no matter what. Tell me, how big a margin must their be before the Democratic party gets to make decisions based on what it, and its base, want, instead of constantly capitulating to obstinate conservatives.

  4. Submitted by Paul Landskroener on 11/27/2012 - 01:30 pm.

    Step by step

    I stand with the do it now crowd.

    But if that’s not to be, the DFL should at least take steps in the right direction.

    First, repeal the part of the Minnesota DOMA that prohibits recognition of valid same sex marriages concluded in another state. Second, recognize same sex domestic partners in all public employee benefit plans. Third, pass a robust civil union law providing all benefits and obligations to registered same we couples, including protection for adoptive parents and children.

    The amendment battle clearly demonstrated support for these half-measures and they will provide immediate concrete benefits to the public.

    That sets the stage for full recognition of marriages in a subsequent legislative session.

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