Friday, August 1, 2014

Gay Marriage Turns 1 in Minnesota

On November 3, 2012, I wrote a screed, delineating my position on the pending Minnesota Constitutional Amendment vote, banning gay marriage in this great state. Three days later, I encouraged everyone to go to the polls and vote NO!

The amendment suffered a resounding defeat, much to the shock and dismay of the Minnesota GOP. For months, they had been predicting that Minnesota would join other states in writing discrimination into their constitution. But this great citizenry decided otherwise. 

It was interesting to see the breakdown by county. The seven county Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area overwhelmingly voted NO! Rural counties all over the state were either evenly split or overwhelmingly for the ban. There was one anomaly that I cannot explain, even to this day. Way down on the border of Minnesota and Iowa, there's a tiny county called Blue Earth. They voted heavily against the ban. Thank you, my rural blood brothers and sisters.

Elsewhere on social media, directly after the vote, I began calling for the state legislature (now swung to the Democrats, including the governorship) to make gay marriage legal in this state. I received a lot of flak for that position, with the argument that legalizing gay marriage would be "overstepping".

I didn't buy it. It was obvious that the majority of voters cared about the issue in a positive light, enough to flip the entire state House and Senate, including the executive branch, over to the side of those that believe freedom for gays and lesbians to marry is written into the common understanding of what is not discrimination.

Through no fault of my own, the legislature heard mine and a whole host of others' calls. On May 9, 2013, the Minnesota House passed gay marriage into law. The Senate and the governor soon followed suit. Best part of all, two of the four Republican legislators that voted for gay marriage, Jennifer Loon of Eden Prairie and Pat Garofolo of Farmington, were those I have had great contact with and also live in the latter's district.

Happy birthday, gay marriage in Minnesota!