Minnesota Will Vote on Constitutional Same-Sex Marriage Ban in 2012

The Minnesota legislature voted to add to the November 2012 ballot a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Awesome, those have gone so well in the past. Not only do the gays usually lose when citizens are given the power to decide issues — see Maine and California — but 31 states already prohibit same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment (10 more by statute).

Watch this video from the state capitol last night — the whole thing, immediately, some of it will make you feel slightly better. America needs more people like Rep. John Kriesel. He gets it.

Obviously the next step is an 18-month battle for the votes of Minnesotans. Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Scott Dibble, the Minnesota legislature’s only openly gay members, have a little bit of faith. “We’ve built a movement. We are going to do the hardest thing we’ve ever done. But we’re up to it,” Dibble said.

According to the Advocate, Donald McFarland of Minnesotans United for All Families has said, “Our campaign is hitting the ground running, and we plan on using every resource available to defeat this anti-family constitutional amendment.”

The Minnesota Star-Tribune predicts the fight over this amendment could be almost as expensive as the 2008 presidential campaign. It will certainly rival the fight over Proposition 8 in California, which cost both sides a combined $83 million.

It’s ridiculous to be forced to buy your own civil rights, but that’s America. So please consider donating something to the Minnesota effort over the next 18 months. They’ll need it. MUAF’s website is brand new, so there is no way to donate yet, but you can sign up for their email list. For donations, try OutFront Minnesota, who already have a movement going.

To bring things around to the bigger picture, even a leader of Focus on the Family has admitted that in the long run, the fight about gay marriage is over. And we won. FoF’s Jim Daly told World Magazine, a Christian publication, the following:

World: We’re winning the younger generation on abortion, at least in theory. What about same-sex marriage?

Daly: We’re losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don’t know if that’s going to change with a little more age—demographers would say probably not. We’ve probably lost that. I don’t want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.

He then went on to talk about how maybe this was God telling Christians to re-evaluate marriage in their own communities and maybe get rid of divorce. Ummm … that sounds fine, actually! If people don’t want a Christian marriage that is more restrictive than what the government offers, then they shouldn’t get one. See how easy that was? You guys do you, we’ll do us.

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. I love Minnesota. This news made me a sad panda.

    But if any state can keep this amendment from happening, Minnesota can. I foresee 18 months of wide-eyed, earnest, flannel-clad hipsters on street corners petitioning passersby to DO THE RIGHT THING.

    …if you can’t tell, I’m sad that I had to move away.

  2. Just another reason that shows that Wisconsin and Illinois are clearly the better midwestern states. Well except for Scott Walker. But let’s not talk about him. He’s a poopie head.

    …Yes I did just write that.

  3. Different sections of that video bring on a host of emotions. All those beautiful people gathering and singing and united, so gorgeous, really. Then the just heartbreaking story, from a Republican representative who finally broke through the Inflexible Worldview, who managed to seize his own aha moment, he totally gets it. But then you see the people who voted Yea filing through, and they need to be protected by a gauntlet of policemen for their enactment of institutionalized hatred.

    How can they just walk through and not be disgusted with themselves? Almost without exception, I’d reckon that whenever the legislative majority must leave through the side door, they’re on the wrong side of history. It’s just tragic.

  4. I live in Minnesota and my friends and I have been talking about this since it passed committee. We are sure as hell voting no! I just sent out a mass fb thing, and I told people that if they would support this amendment they should de-friend me. My sister thinks that’s a touch aggressive, but I think she’s wrong! And I sent a message to my rep thanking her for voting against it! I have never been so glad to be 18!!

    • I recently posted a link on my Fb and told people to defriend me if they don’t support equal rights for LGBT citizens. I think it’s a fine thing to do, especially if you’re not interested in having bigots show up on your feed.

      I’m sure plenty of people on my friends list didn’t see my post, but I get a respectable amount of Fb activity and my number of friends didn’t drop at all. It was excellent!

      • It can be really frustrating when your friends post biggoted things on facebook =( I know from experience. I really like what a friend of mine did, though. She posted that she planned to vote against the amendment, and then asked if any of her facebook friends were planning on voting yes, if they could please comment or message her and tell her why they planned on doing so, because she genuinely wanted to know and have a discussion (not a debate).

        I think genuine discussions with people you know are probably the best way to win this campaign, honestly. Slogans and signs can only go so far – the real life experiences like what Rep. Kriesel talks about in the video are what make lasting impressions on people. We can give those experiences to our friends and family just by coming out as LGBTQ or as allies and talking with them about it!

  5. Plus I want a t-shirt that says “You guys do you, we’ll do us.” and on the back it can say “And women.”

  6. It breaks my fucking heart that I have relatives in Minnesota who will likely vote “yes” on that bullshit.

    That video required two tissues (and my graphics card dying two times, because it hates me).

    • Haters gonna hate. All we did was be our awesome, queer, honest selves. The rest is their problem.

  7. Jim Daly, Focus on the Family leader, says “I don’t want to be extremist here” ?

    I think someone needs to explain to him what “extremist” means. Or “irony”.

  8. UGH. between this and T-PAW officially announcing running for president this past weekend…I am losing faith in my state.

    • Don’t don’t don’t! Not yet. We’ve always had crazies here but we’ve got some pretty awesome people too. Lose faith is exactly what they WANT you to do which is why you shouldn’t!

    • We are officially the most hipster state in the nation, and Jon Stewart recently informed me that Minneapolis is the most gay city in America–maybe this will be defeated! :D

  9. Oh my God Sarah, you need to put warnings on those videos. I started tearing up at work. ;_; That video hurts, but actually gives me some hope.

    Honestly though, the last thing you said makes a lot of sense, and I sort of agree. Although I believe we should have equal rights to do what we want, I’ve never been into marriage anyway, so changing the parameters will help.

  10. That video melted my poor, tired little heart. It’s just a puddle on the floor now.

    I BELIEVE IN YOU, MINNESOTA! You can fight it! Lemme know if you need any help!

  11. I am fiercely proud to live in Minnesota and I think it’s one of the best states to live in, but this bill was a huge pile of bullshit. For me, its passage will serve as a call to action. Yes, with the way these votes have gone in the past and the amount of money on the other side, we have a lot working against us, but I think we can do it. And if we start thinking we can’t then, well, basically we’ve already failed because we aren’t giving it our all.

    Outfront Minnesota is a great organization and I plan on volunteering with them a lot in the coming months. If you’re considering donating, you should definitely check out their website and their facebook page. They definitely do some good stuff.

  12. I’ve been single-parenting for the past 8 days (not that I’m counting or anything) and I could not get to the capitol. I am proud to say that I know many of those people in that crowd on that video…many of them are straight parents at my kids’ school. Tonight, I finally talked to my kids about it. I hadn’t planned to but my son said, “So…are there any other events or issues you haven’t been telling me about?” (This after chastising me for having not explained the Osama Bin Laden sitch).

  13. “The Minnesota Star-Tribune predicts the fight over this amendment could be almost as expensive as the 2008 presidential campaign”

    Can you imagine what would happen if people cared that much about ending hunger or homelessness in America or something? But no. They just care about trying to force us not to love each other. *sigh*

  14. I love Minnesota – and I think they can beat this thing! I’m talking to every single person I know of voting age who lives there. I’m thinking of a mass FB message as well. Maybe closer to the actual date of the vote though. Or primaries.

    We can do this! Minnesota nice FTW!

  15. I think that our state should be hella more worried about the tornado that ripped through my street and its crazy ass budget rather than whether or not the will let us get married. We are not a natural disaster, and we are not putting our state in millions of dollars of debt. We just want to be equal. uffda.

    • Oh my god, I know =( are you/your roommates/neighbors/family/things okay? I have some homeless friends right now because their roof got ripped off.

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