Minneapolis Star-Tribune comes out strongly against anti-gay amendment

Republican state legislators in Minnesota are fast tracking proposed anti-gay constitutional amendments to ban marriage for same-sex couples. If the amendment passes in the legislature, the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples would be up for a statewide vote in the 2012 election.

Despite budget shortfalls and economic downturn in Minnesota, Republicans in the state capital are making discrimination against gay and lesbian couples and their families a high legislative priority. The bill has already advanced through several committee votes and is now making its way to the Senate for a floor vote.

Thankfully, most Minnesotans don’t agree with the GOP’s insistence that the state ought to discriminate against loving and committed relationships. Last week, we highlighted the compelling testimony of Madeline Koch, a young Republican who passionately supports the freedom to marry.  And just yesterday, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune published an editorial in firm opposition to the proposed anti-gay amendment:

"A proposal sailing through the Legislature would only make matters worse here in Minnesota. Committees of both the House and Senate have passed measures that call for a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Passing a misguided gay marriage ban by referendum would cement inequity into the stateConstitution. Requiring a majority vote to affirm minority rights is inherently discriminatory.

Many of our nation's civil, human and women's rights laws might never have passed if they were put to a vote. Instead, those advances usually came through legislative and court decisions that valued human rights more than special-interest politics.

Minnesota already has the curiously named Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits same-sex couples from marrying. That's the status quo in many other states as well, although there's no evidence that heterosexual marriages need to be "defended'' from gay and lesbian unions."

We applaud the Star-Tribune for speaking out against a bill that would harm the lives of so many Minnesota families. Freedom to Marry will continue to support the work of our partners in Minnesota who are committed to defeating this bill.

If you live in Minnesota, take action now and urge your state legislators to oppose an anti-gay constitutional amendment.