Expert: MN’s Gay Marriage Vote Will Get National Attention

By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — University of Minnesota law professor Dale Carpenter was inside the Capitol when the Senate gave the green light to the amendment, which he says proposes that “only a union of one man and woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.”

Carpenter, who specializes in sexual orientation law, says that not only is this proposed vote unprecedented in Minnesota history, it will undoubtedly receive national attention.

“For better or worse, we will now be known as the state in November 2012, that is going to be voting on this issue,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter says Minnesota is one of the last states to address gay marriage, and he believes private funds from Minnesota and outside the state will be funneled into a massive media campaign.

“The media will be making a lot of money in next 18 months from ads on both sides,” said Carpenter. “A rough estimate on what might be spent on either side is 8 million dollars, maybe more,” said Carpenter.

U of M political science professor Kathryn Pearson says that’s because much more is at stake, especially in Republican-controlled chambers, where this strategy was widely anticipated.

“In part it’s a way to forward their agenda, in part it’s a way to reward the base critical to the election in 2010, and in part a mobilization strategy for the 2012 elections.” said Pearson

Pearson says the timing could open Republicans up to criticism.

“To charges they are not prioritizing right issues right now with budget timeline so close,” she said.

Pearson also warns turnout is key, because the amendment requires “yes” votes from a majority of all voters, which means leaving the question blank or unanswered, is essentially the same as a “no” vote, according to Pearson.

“Which means if someone does not vote on an amendment it counts as a no vote, and in a high turnout presidential election year, that could be a significant number of people,” adds Carpenter.

“It’s an issue on which public opinion is rapidly changing, and it’s a real unknown, with mobilizations on both sides of issue,” said Pearson.

Carpenter notes that every time gay marriage has been put on the ballot in other states, voters have banned it.

So far, 30 US states have banned gay marriage in their constitution, and remaining states like Minnesota do not define it in their constitution, but may define it in state statute, according to Carpenter.

Currently, five states have passed same sex marriage laws: Vermont, Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.

  • Art B

    Do they feel so insecure in their own marriages? Remember the Golden Rule, which is in the Christian Bible: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. That’s right — it also means that when you deny others their rights, you are saying that it is ok for others to deny YOU your rights as well.

    • Mark from

      @Art B You don’t know much about the Bible do you?

      • WHAT?????

        So you know a lot more about the bible than anyone so why don’t you tell us what the golden rule has to say about this? How about explaining what it leaves out as well and then we can all marvel in something constructive that you post instead of just a negative attack on someone else.
        This should be a dead issue by now. Just as when people did not want blacks to marry anyone but other blacks, this is just as wrong and history will see the people that are against this just as stupid and short sighted. You cannot claim that you are a victim of the times like they did back then as this is not a time where information cannot be accessed in an instant. The bigotry that still remains in this country is remarkable and I hope that all you religious nuts are right and there is a god. That way when you die you will have to explain why you were so against one of god’s creations being happy and living a life that “we” all seem to have the right to, but not others because they are “different”.
        You are right Mark, the golden rule says nothing about letting others have the same respect and rights that you do. May want to read that book again as your comment seems to have the info that you are a little short on facts.

  • Mike

    I’m not gay, but I will be voting no.
    Republican legislatures should be concentrating on creating jobs, not driving wedge issues that deny rights to each and every tax paying citizen of this state. Maple Grove, Republican Limmer is a despicable human being.

  • John

    If we didn’t have to be exposed to homosexuality in all media, have it taught as normal to our children, and have our government sanction the sin in many cases, most of us in the pro-moral camp probably wouldn’t care what you do in the privacy of your own homes. But because it’s being so aggressively pushed on us, we’re pushing back. And that’s why amendments have been 100% successful when the vote has been brought to the people in 31 out of 31 states so far.

    • WHAT?????

      I somewhat agree with you, but in that same “blame the media” approach, would we all not be sick of seeing half naked women since they are in almost every commercial no matter what the product? Would we not be sick of explosions and “shoot em up” flicks? So the argument that you post is that you have it shoved in your face too much and this is why you do not want it? Look at the other side of the coin, people that are against gay marriage are shoving that back in their faces every day and that may be why they want it so bad. If you never looked at the other side maybe you should as you cannot know the full story if you just take one look at it.

    • John

      I am in a same sex relationship and we have a son who is 100% heterosexual and he was brought up with our relationship as being normal and it doesn’t change who he is or who he will be it doesn’t make him gay because hes exposed to it and furthermore, should i be upset if my children our being exposed to a different lifestyle than the one i live.. like heterosexual relationships??

      • WHAT?????

        No you should not be upset about that. That would be a big reason that we call the USA the melting pot of the world. We have all different colors and walks of life that live here and that is what makes the country great. Just because someone likes men or likes women should have no basis on how you raise your child therefore you should not be able to say 1 way or the other that they do not have the same rights as you and your wife do to have a family and have the same pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness that any other American does. I understand that you would not feel comfortable with them but that is a choice as well. It is not as if being gay is contagious and you or your child are not going to “catch it” if you interact with someone who does happen to be gay. The fact of the matter is that most marriages end with divorce within the first 4 years anyway so the whole “sanctity of marriage” is kind of a falsehood anyway. They have just as much right to marry and have a miserable existence like the rest of us and I would see no reason why they should not. The only reason that I see that straight people are against this is that they are afraid that gay couples are actually going to stay married and make the straight marriages look bad.

  • JB

    Next up, capital punishment for first degree murder. If the legislature does not have the cahoonas to do their job, let the voters do it for them.

  • Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota » Blog Archive » Log Cabin Ally Dale Carpenter Speaks Out on Marriage Amendment

    […] better or worse, we will now be known as the state in November 2012, that is going to be voting on this […]

  • Amanda

    Republicans can do whatever they want to… people are realizing that they are not fixing the budget, they are not creating jobs and they will get vote out of the office, the same way they were voted in… and besides when the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed, this won’t matter anyways… just a waste of time and money!

    But, oh yeah, it’s all about cut the spending, small government…. same old BS

    • Barry Watson

      Job aren’t created just the climate. Its much easier to increase the size of government and tell everybody hey, look how many jobs I created, none of which create sustainable wealth, just more debt.

  • john

    This is a great day for all God fearing christians who know that this is the only correct course this issue could have gone . I’m glad to see that the government did not buckle under preasure from those who just want to ” go with the flow ” You’ve pleased Christians , and most importantly , you’ve pleased God .

    • WHAT?????

      When I was posting back to you I was thinking that we were having a conversation, I did not know that I was speaking with god. How do you know god is happy with this? Another one of your “well I am happy and I believe in god so he must be happy because I am” thoughts huh? Another reason why a lot of people do not like organized religion. We would hate to sound like mindless drones spewing falsehoods that sound good to you but are twisted interpretations of the bible and what you think it means. You do realize that everyone takes the info in the bible differently and the message is not the same depending on how you read it? He way I have always taken the bible is that it is not your place to judge what others do as god would have final judgment. I also take the info as that all of the people that are on this planet are god’s creations, so hating anyone because god does not like gays is an oxymoron in and of itself. Funny that I can see these things being someone who does not believe yet those of you who claim that you read this book each and every day tend not to follow all the rules that are given from it. Wait, or is that what is meant by everyone takes the info differently? If this is the case, stop telling us what god is or is not as you do not know what he means to anyone else.

  • Amanda

    And How this does exactly help us to create JOBS, or fix the BUDGET??? as a matter of fact it will be worse, since the state of MN will be seen as a discriminatory state and good talent people would not like to come and live here… like is not hard enough weather wise to attract people

  • Paige Carter

    Sooooo if they want to keep marriages “pure” they should just make divorce illegal. I think that people are just being ignorant.

  • Bonnie

    Okay…so what is it about gay marriage that poses such a threat to those opposed to it? To speak so passionately against this issue must pose a threat to their manliness, womanliness or they are so insecure in their lives that they must ensure no one else goes out of this person little “safety zone” they’ve imposed on everyone else.

    Please do not quote the Bible. To quote it as what God said is not truthful. The books in the Bible is simply an interpretation, not necessarily what was actually said. Let’s see, the most common is the King’s James version and that version’s interpretation was an interpretation by the author of that book. I am a devout Catholic and even my priest agrees what is said in the Bible is not necessarily accurate.

    Oh…and John…God fearing Christians? Really? Does Vatican II mean anything? When has God fearing Christians been used in the past 40 years? I prefer a loving God. Although this “god” you speak of must not be the same being it is spelled as a god and not God. Where does it say God doesn’t like gays? Where exactly does God say that? Not the hearsay in the Bible, but the word of God himself?

    I hope the gay marriage/gay rights issue pass in Minnesota. What a bunch of moralistic prigs who have nothing better to do that stand in judgment of others. Maybe we should ban all redheads? Brown eyes? Where does it stop? Being gay is no more a choice than your hair color is or the color of your eyes (pending no hair color or contacts…sad that even has to be mentioned).

    I’ve lived in Minnesota my entire life. For the first time I will be ashamed of this state if gay rights is turned down. Shame on those who feel morally superior to others that they can stand in judgment and decide what is “right” and “wrong”

    My husband and I 9yes, I am not gay) have raised our 4 children to be loving people who accept others for what they are. For any one of them to think less of someone because they do not believe in the same or are not born a heterosexual as them would be against everything we stand for.

    For people to spew their prejudices under the guise of religion is nothing more than a cop out. It is truly an abomination for those of us who believe in God and have a strong faith, regardless if it’s Christian, Judaism, or any other form of religion.

    Someone compared it to race and marriage. Well said! For anyone to think there is a difference has his or her head in the sand. It’s time to wake up…to grow up and be a decent human being. Who are you to pass judgment on anyone else?

    Paige…I like the divorce idea. After all, the Bible says it is wrong. If those who feel the importance of quoting the Bible…I am sure they would somehow justify many other issues to suit their own tortuous beliefs.

  • Jack

    Given that the Gallup Poll and another poll just came out recently with a majority of Americans now in favor of same sex marriage, and both polls with an 8% margin of those in favor of same sex marriage vs. not, imagine if MN gets to be the first state that actually defeats one of these at the ballot box. Mark and his Bible thumpers will probably explode. What a day that will be!

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