MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In a Republican controlled Senate, the controversial gay marriage bill was finally up for a vote.
With four Republicans breaking with their party the measure passed 33-29. But this was no constitutional ban on gay marriage. This was the Republican Senate in New York state passing a measure to legalize gay marriage.
New York is now the largest state by far to legalize same-sex unions. New York joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C. to legalize gay marriage.
In Minnesota on the other hand, the legislature this year passed an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in 2012. The amendment is the signature measure of this legislative session that has brought the state to the brink of a government shutdown.
A recent Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans support gay marriage. That’s up from 44 percent just the year before.
Prominent Republicans including Dick Cheney, Michael Bloomberg, Laura Bush and her daughter Barbara Bush all support same sex marriages. Republicans in Minnesota are counting on the constitutional amendment to drive up conservative turnout, to help them sweep to victory in state house and senate races as they did in 2010.
But with polls showing public opinion shifting and the anger that will almost certainly implode if there is a shutdown, it is possible Minnesota’s anti-gay marriage amendment could well drive up turnout by those on the other side.