Poll: Dramatic Divide Over Gay Marriage Amendment

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With just a year until next year’s election, a new poll shows a dramatic divide in Minnesota on gay marriage.

In 2012, voters will go to the polls and will have to decide if they want to vote in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

A new Star Tribune-Minnesota Poll shows that 48 percent of Minnesotans favor the ban, while 43 percent are against it. But when you factor in the margin of error of 4.4 percent, it is almost a dead heat.

Both sides of the issue are already gearing up for a battle that could have a profound effect on other elections as well.

The emotional protests from both sides that were seen at the legislature last spring were just the beginning. A year before a vote on the proposed ban, both sides are getting ready.

“We are defending marriage because we think it is an important public institution. It’s not just about private decisions, it’s about public commitments and public institutions that are good for society as a whole,” said Jason Adkins with the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Supporters of the ban, including the group Minnesota for Marriage, have taken to the Internet and social networking sites.

On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, a critic of the proposed ban, will hold an LBGT town hall meeting in Hopkins that will focus in part on defeating the amendment.

“I’m going to be working really, really hard to maximize the vote right here in the 5th District,” said Ellison. “At the end of the day, not matter how people feel, they don’t want people telling them who they can be with.”

Among voters over 65, the Minnesota Poll found that 70 percent say they will vote for the ban. But among Minnesotans under 35, only 33 percent say they will support the ban, while 58 percent are against it.

Political analysts say that would appear to be good news for those who favor the ban.

“One of the iron rules of elections is that older people turn out in much higher rates than younger people,” said Professor Larry Jacobs. “The question is whether the gay marriage amendment is going to push turnout among younger people who are particularly opposed to it above what they would normally turnout.”

There have been almost 30 votes in the past decade on this same issue in other states. From California to Alabama, the votes have all gone in favor of a ban on gay marriage.

There is a technicality in the law that makes it tougher to pass amendments in Minnesota. If a voter skips the amendment question, it counts as a no vote, which is another unpredictable factor.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Elton J.

    Ellison is so, so very clueless, but we pretty much knew that. The definition of marriage proposed by the amendment does not tell people who they can or can’t be with. It simply codifies the concept of “marriage” the way it has always been known in social relations and in statute. (Sure you can find some whacky Roman emperor who might have had a male “mate” some want to declare was his “husband,” but seriously.) Same sex partners are free to be together or to be “married” through a religious sect or their own declaration. The state just won’t be recognizing it for subsidy purposes the way it has not ever recognized it as such.

    • Phidippides

      I agree with you and want to point out that the pro-hmsxual crowd constantly distorts the issues to act as if their opponents want to tell people who they can or cannot “love”. To my knowledge, no law has been proposed which would say that person X cannot “love” person Y; rather, proposed laws would define who could enter into a legally-defined relationship.

      • jackactionhero

        Which begs the question, why do you care so much?

        • Socrates

          The absence of a reason to oppose something does not equal a reason to support it.

          • jackactionhero

            Not in this situation.

            There can’t be a blind opposition. There actually needs to be a reason people want to create a two-tiered system of social rights.

            • Logic 101

              Um, no. The advocates of changing the status quo need to show why it needs to be changed. (Nobody is “creating” a system at this point. It already exists.) Perhaps you would support a system where every year starts with complete anarchy and all laws are voided. That way, we can be forced to justify the laws over and over and over, even though there was no reason to invalidate them in the first place.

              • jackactionhero

                That is not a valid comparison. Your argument falls flat.

                There is a reason it should be changed. Because it’s unconstitutional and discriminatory, and it DOESN’T AFFECT YOU.

    • Lioness

      Subsidies, visitation rights, distribution of possessions after death where a will falls short, sometimes help in adopting, custody issues, etc. Honestly the legal side of marriage matters FAR more than the church side of marriage; the church always has its own options and rights and I completely respect those. The legal side of marriage is a set of rights given only to heterosexual people, which is obviously unfair.

      • E. Flynn

        We could simply take the costs of changing the definition of marriage and subsidizing a new group of relationships and instead give that money to children below the poverty line. Wait. The gay community doesn’t support that? Why do gay people hate poor children so much?

        • Lioness

          Actually, I wouldn’t care – but you do realize millions are spent on your opinion as well as mine? The entire world wastes money because we can’t all get along. I mean, honestly, why don’t you go sell your computer? It only takes 11 cents for a meal for a poor Haitian child, Flynn, you could feed a lot of kids with it!

          I can’t say I’ve ever donated to the gay rights movement (unless you count time pointlessly arguing as a donation, in which case I’ve got to get some kind of award for my charity :P), but I have definitely donated to starving children. :D I don’t even have a job because I’m 15, I just do fundraising stuff alongside schoolwork and arguing on the internet.

          Anyways, do you support me taking all the money from Herman Cain, Bachman, Perry, etc.’s campaigns to feed starving children? Probably not. (Although IMO we should just rid ourselves of expensive campaign advertisements – millions wasted, can you imagine what that money could do for basically any cause?)

  • Rags

    Now bend over and let me vote…

    • Hans

      Talk about a poll tax!

  • Steve T.

    I believe in the separation of church and hate.

    • Kate

      Does it always come down to hate with you? I doubt you will find people that hate you, just your choices and shove them down our throats and our children’s throats. We dont’ think it’s morally right but if you want that for your life, then fine. No one here hates you. You’re probably a fine person in every other way. Should we then except pedophelia now too? Because they feel they have a strong attraction to children and obviously can’t help themselves in feeling this way – does this make it okay that they can choose to be with them? No – it wouldn’t be wise for society or for children. but that is what the gay argument seems to be about.

      • jackactionhero

        You cannot compare being gay to pedophilia.

        Nobody is shoving anything down your throat, Kate. I promise you that.

        A fine person “in every other way”???? You should be ashamed of yourself. Honestly. You are a sh.1.tty person, Kate.

        • Kate

          Yes, you can. It’s the same reasoning that gay people use. They feel they are born this way and can’t change their affinity toward the same sex. It’s the exact same with pedophiles – they too have an unexplainable attraction to children. Where’s the difference in logic? There is none. Not ashamed of myself one bit, just feel it’s my obligation to point out the truth and the sameness in these arguments to debunk this myth that one is just born this way.

          • jackactionhero

            Where’s the difference in logic? Are you kidding me?

            Why SHOULD they have to change it?

            Do you feel you can change YOUR affinity for the OPPOSITE sex?

            • Kate

              Jack – they don’t have to change it. My point is that gay people should not be allowed a marriage certificate which would then entitle them to list it as an alternative lifestyle officially under the law to teach my children. I am morally opposed to this and will take my children out of school in a second if they were taught this as an alternative lifestyle. It is my right to teach my children what is moral and immoral, not the schools right. That is where I’m going with this – once the law recognizes this immoral behavior gay people will decide that they will push this down every other confused child in the world and make them wonder too if they are who God made them. If you want to pursue your feelings, go ahead and have away at it. I choose to discipline myself and don’t act on every feeling I have.

              • markH

                Kate- I don’t like my children seeing tattooed women, women in pants, or women working alongside men. I understand that women are good and decent people, it just isn’t “moral” according to the way I was raised. If women want to get a tramp and wear jeans, fine-but they should have the decency to stay away from my children so I don’t have to answer their questions as to why they do these things. It just offends my sensibilities. If you’re on my side, I’m on yours! Peace.

              • TL

                Kate – by your argument, you might as well take your kids out of society completely – thats where they are or will be introduced to that alternate lifestyle the most. And probably be fed the wrong information. Absolutely its your right to teach your kids what is your version of right/wrong but burying their heads in the proverbial sand isnt going to do them much good down the road of life.

                But be prepared, your kids will more than likely grow with different views than yours….what then?

                • jackactionhero

                  Kate, you cannot stop your children from being exposed to the existence of gay foks, sorry. That is not feasible. Wouldn’t you be better off teaching your kids that you love them, and they should treat everybody with love and respect, instead of teaching them god hates people like gays?

                  Should gays be allowed to be teachers, Kate? What if your kid was a student with a gay Kindergarten teacher? What then?

                  Should gays be allowed to be pediatricians? How about Daycare Providers?

                  What else should gays be banned from doing, Kate? Please be honest and be specific. Thanks.

  • Kevin

    Gay in …..Gay out……Gay in……Gay out……..

  • Good Gravy

    Who cares? Other than superstitious religious busybodies, always wanting to tell everyone else what to believe in.

    • Phid

      Is it the pro-hmsxual crowd that is “always wanting to tell everyone else what to believe in”? Because I can assure you, they most certainly are trying to tell people what they should think.

      • Naw

        What they’re trying to tell you is to mind your own business.

        • Good for Both Ganders

          No, they are not trying to tell you to mind your own business. They are telling you that you have to consider THEIR business as identical to what marriage has been until now (except ignore the prospect of procreation, of course) and you must subsidize THEIR business.

          I want government to give me a million dollars. You oppose that? Mind your own business. Where’s my check?

          • jackactionhero

            Your comparison is not valid.

            What is your REAL reason for advocating America to introduce a two-tiered systems of rights?

            Be honest.

            • Good for Both Ganders

              You aren’t talking about a two-tiered system of “rights.” You’re talking about adding a new “right” based on a preference.

              I’ll be honest. Government no longer has a reason to be in the marriage business. Adding same sex “marriages” moves us in the wrong direction. Single people should not be discriminated against by the fact that other people are in relationships. Your relationship is not based on government sanction.

              First choice: government out of the marriage business. Second choice: status quo. (until government is out of the marriage business). Third choice: add recognition of same-sex and multiple partner marriages (the laissez faire approach, because at least it’s consistent. Oh, we also have to legalize incest between consenting adults. Gotta be fair.).

              • jackactionhero

                Being gay is not a preference.

                Nobody wants to legalize incest. Don’t you see how ridiculous you sound when you try to claim absurdities as being linked to gays?

        • Patricia

          NO, that isn’t what you’re trying to do – you want to make it legal to marry to justify your own behavior that is clearly morally wrong to those who follow what God wants for us. You want to make it our business in how to think like you- heaven forbid someone has an opinion other than yours even though your group tends to claim that it’s all about tolerance. LGBT is so intolerant of anyone elses view other than their own.

          • jackactionhero

            What you think your “god” wants, Patricia, is up to your own interpretation.

            Also, what you think your god wants is only relevant to how YOU live your life. You don’t get to decide for others what they can do based on what YOU think about YOUR god.

            See how that works?

            • Patricia

              I agree. However you have to know that the LGBT pride themselves on the fact that they’re so tolerant of anything. Yet they are very intolerant with someone disagreeing with them- just as you are. They state they are very accepting and just want to love, but they absolutely hate anyone who feels this is morally wrong – as many do. Can’t I have my opinion on what I feel is right and wrong or are we gonna go with your version jack?

              • jackactionhero

                You can have your opinion, but you should not get to tell it to others.

                It isn’t relevant what you think of gay marriage.

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  • Jenny C.

    Hey liberal media outlet, we can’t take a full year of this B.S. Stop the madness!

  • Scott

    Lets remove this issue from the government once an for all. Marriage is a religious definition. Let it stay that way. Let the government define what is a union.

    • Gregg Deneweth

      Patricia, you are wrong. Would this law force you to go out and marry a woman? No, it would not. Gay marriage is about having the same committment that straight couples do. In no way does it infringe on your rights to a straight marriage or divorce, which is the norm for hetero marriages. This is not about God, but fairness and equality under the US Constitution. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t have one.

      • J Marshall

        Fairness and equity under the Constitution? I am really good at video games, but the U of M does not give scholarships for being good at video games. They do give scholarships for being good at football and basketball. Why isn’t MY preference for video games (I was born this way) recognized with a scholarship? This is clearly discrimination under the Constitution, right?

        What do you mean I don’t have a constitutional right to play video games? Oh, it’s just like there is no constitutional right to be attracted to one gender or the other. Unless the Constitution is amended to add that right, this is a public policy discussion, not a constitutional crisis. (By the way, gay people may marry someone of the opposite sex. There is no heterosexuality requirement to marry. Everyone has the same right, but they might not have the same preference, if any preference at all.)

        • jackactionhero

          Why do you care so much that you want to stop gays from marrying?

          What difference does it make?

          • Joe the Plumber

            They can marry all they want. I just don’t want to subsidize it.

            • jackactionhero

              But you don’t mind subsidizing my marriage?

              Thanks Joe!

      • Good for Both Ganders

        Not True. The same commitment exists between the parties involved, not government sanction. Would government giving me a million dollars force Gregg to go out and have sex with a goat? No, so give me a million dollars. That’s the logic of the “change the definition” crowd.

        Marriage subsidies were about the majority of wives who stayed home and raised kids. If that does not apply anymore, let’s remove that. Kevin and Jonathan don’t need a subsidy to have a relationship of whatever variety they choose.

    • Gregg Deneweth

      Marriage is not a religious definition. Many people can and do get married by the courts or justice of the peace, both of which are non-religious.

  • Susan

    If two men love each other and want to have sex with each other and pretend they are married, I see no problem.

    But that shouldn’t entitle them to government benefits.

    This is all about money. When will the media report the truth?

    • Jake

      EXACTLY. That applies to WOMEN as well. I don’t care if they come out ot the closet and do it in the bedroom, or kitchen, or garage, the point is, GOVERNMENT shouldn’t be giving them a TAX-DEDUCTION to do it. How stupid is that?

      • Lioness

        But government gives you a tax deduction, visitation rights, an easier adoption process, etc ct. Why do you deserve those things and I don’t? The question is really – what makes you better than me?

    • Gregg Deneweth

      And why shouldn’t it?

  • Musli-Mormon or Bust!

    I just started a new religion. I’m going to call it “Musli-Mormon.” I want to have several wives. What? I can’t have several wives? Why can’t I do this? Can the Federal Government really force marriage between one man and one woman? Darn!

    • jackactionhero

      You are arguing against something that is not even being debated. It really makes you look silly.

      • Good for Both Ganders

        No, he (or she) is arguing against the faulty logic being used to ram the adoption of a new definition of marriage through the process. The logic of the argument doesn’t hold because it is all about self-interest, not government’s role in relationships.

        Whatever happened to “We don’t need the amendment because the law already defines “marriage” as between a man and a woman? Perhaps that law wasn’t so safe after all.

        • jackactionhero

          Why should there be that definition? For whose benefit? Who exactly do you think you’re saving from the evil gays by refusing to allow them to marry?

          You prefer gays to all be single? You see no benefit in allowing marriage, a long-term, loving, mutually beneficial relationship? Why?

          What should be done with gays? I think the real issue is you thing being gay, itself, is what is wrong. If that’s the case, why do you not associate the two and move for legislation stating that being gay is a danger to society? Isn’t that what you think, afterall?

          • Good for Both Ganders

            Your arguments are downright silly. I don’t care if someone is gay. I also don’t care if they play the accordion. The fact that I don’t see advantage in subsidizing accordion players does not mean I hate them or want them to be single. You are looking to the wrong source for the legitimacy of your relationships.

            If you want government to subsidize same sex relationships, you have the burden of explaining the value derived by the subsidy. Are same-sex couples unable to have relationships if they don’t receive a government subsidy?

            • jackactionhero

              The value?

              A stable, married relationship, just like yours and mine. Again, you prefer them to be single swingers why?

              What else should gays not be allowed to do? Please be honest.

  • kd5757

    Churches have much latitude on how they define marriage within their religious organization and have constitutional protection to do so. Marriage as recognized by our government, however, is another matter. Certain religious groups want to promote their brand of religion and are trying to dictate how our government defines marriage as well, even if it violates other groups receiving equal protection under the law as guaranteed in our 14th amendment. We need to always be vigilant in keeping church and state separate. When we do, both the church and the state are better off…

    • Phid

      Your mistakes are in your premises. First, you *presume* that it is a violation of equal protection. Do you know of a particular person who cannot get married to a person of the opposite gender? Merely because a person cannot marry just *anyone* does not mean that there is a violation of equal protection. You cannot marry a 3-year-old child, but I would hardly call that a violation of equal protection.

      Second, you presume that this is simply a “religious” issue. Why in the world do you hold to such a lie? Merely because a religious person advocates one thing does not mean that issue is a “religious” one. The fact of the matter is that same sex relationships are not as valuable as opposite sex relationships; ergo, society has deemed the latter, not the former, as being worthy of state protection and benefits.

      • kd5757

        Just like state laws prohibiting inter-racial marriage were struck down by the US Supreme Court because equal protection under the law was violated, I anticipate that the same thing will eventually occur for same-sex marriage. There is also wide spread support from many professional organizations in the medical, psychological, sociological, and anthropological fields for same-sex marriage. Your contention that same-sex marriages are not as valuable as heterosexual marriages is as ridiculous as saying that society has deemed that black people are not as valuable as white people.

        • Jake

          I certainly hope that you are wrong, and I could CARE LESS as to what psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists say about the ‘issue’. Just because you have a phd doesn’t mean that you are always ‘right’. I also have yet to see ANY PROOF that same sex marriages are AS GOOD (as a whole) than HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGES. So shove your stupid polls and speculations where the sun don’t shine. You are trying to play a huge mind game with the general public, I only hope that they are stupid enough to get sucked into it. I don’t feel one OUNCE of guilt at all about it.

          • jackactionhero

            Why do you require this proof?

            It sounds to me that you think being gay is what is wrong. So why are you concentrating on stopping gays from marrying, if what you really want is for gays to be gone from society? Why won’t you just come out and say that’s what you want? Is it because you realize how insane it sounds?

          • kd5757

            There isn’t any research to show that same-sex marriages are any better or any worse then heterosexual marriages so there is no logical reason to ban same-sex marriages. People who study human behavior and human cultures have not found any credible scientific evidence that same-sex marriage negatively affects society or adoption by same-sex parents negatively affects children. You personally may not approve of same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, etc. but you don’t have any right to control other peoples lives. Worry about your own life and let others live theirs.

          • Lioness

            I’ve yet to see any proof that heterosexual marriages are as good as gay marriages either, though. I mean honestly has anyone even done a study on that? Anyways, marriages are supposed to be based on love and caring, not worth to the general public.

            Cool it on the caps lock, please.

        • Wiles

          This is not a race issue and I am deeply offended that you equate being black with making a morally corrupt decision to be with the same sex. Do not compare the black issue of equality to “being gay”. It is wrong and your argument that you are just born this way could be made for any deviant behavior. I guess I want to be with animals and the animals seem to like it – I have very strong feelings for them and they sure act like they have strong feelings for me, so let’s make that a law too based on your thinking. As long as we love each other I think the LGBT needs to accept that too based on their logic.

          • jackactionhero

            Why is it wrong? Please be specific.

            Also, gays have no interest in marrying animals. It’s heterosexuals who are found in their barns banging their sheep. Minor detail there you should acknowledge, Wiles.

            Additionally, even if you DO think being gay is “wrong” that should only apply to you. You are not qualified to tell me what is right or wrong for my life.

            Mind your own GD business.

            • Wiles

              NO , I don’t have to mind my own business when gays want to teach my children that it’s “an alternative lifestyle” and shove it down our throats. I do have an interest in expressing my opinion, so sorry if it’s offensive to your senses and your own bias that marriage between 2 men is okay. It’s wrong – even in nature- animals always mate with the opposite sex and do not distort it to be something it wasn’t meant to be.

              • jackactionhero

                Your children will be around gays and know what gays do no matter what you say about it, and no matter how you feel about the situation.

                It’s out of your control.

              • jackactionhero

                If it’s wrong, why are we debating gay marriage at all?

                Why aren’t we debating what should be done with gays?

                What do YOU think should be done with the evil gays, Wiles? Please be honest.

  • Bill Clintons Cigar

    I dig Gay’s as long as both chicks are hot……

  • Michele Olson

    Marriage wasn’t always a religious institution, it was the legal combination of two properties. Why should the state recognize it? Because people who are dying should have the right to have their loved ones they choose at their bedside. Because citizens who are paying taxes should have the rights to the same tax benefits as anybody else. Also, the state should not be dictating to churches – EVER!

    • Botanist

      This is simply false. It might have been the reason for some folks to get married, but people without property have married as well as those with property.

  • Joe Hazlett

    I think the state should have a legal binding of two people that is called a civil union. ANd that would be the ONLY legal connection between two people. If a couple wanted to get “married” in the eyes of God then their church would marry them. A gay couple should have the same legal rights as any other couple. The constitution is quite clear that there is to be a separation of church and state. So lets do exactly that.

    • Lioness

      You are a hero and just portrayed everything I have been trying to say except without my angry arguing, how do you people even do that?

  • Roma

    Defend Marriage! Ban weddings between stupid celebrities!

    • K Humphries

      Hear, hear!

  • Pat

    Just take the poor 11 year old boy that now thinks he needs a sex operation- this kid is going to end up severely depressed or committing suicide. All because his two “mommies” are so warped in their thinking that they could handle having children. If you can’t normally have children between 2 particular types of people then you shouldn’t be having any in your family. It goes against any natural order of things – animals don’t do it and they have very little ability to think like we do. It’s not normal.

    • TL

      @ Pat

      Animals dont do it…? aside the fact that humans are considered “animals,” I suggest you do some googling on “gay animals.” I think there are a couple of penguins in a NY zoo that would disagree with your statement.

    • Lioness

      No, actually; transsexuals who go through the full proccess are very unlikely to harm themselves – unlike transsexuals who don’t, as gender dysphoria can lead to severe depression. And gay couples aren’t any more likely to have children who commit suicide. Where are you getting your statistics?

      You know, people don’t naturally have the ability to communicate angrily at one another on news polls when they live far away, either – I guess we’re not normal either!

      • Yelmen D

        The whole sexual identity crisis leads to depression (among many other things in life). Yes, there was a boy who did commit suicide because his parents decided he should be a girl. Not quoting any statistics but it’s obvious this identiity crisis led him to this particular choice in life. THat was my point. We can all cite many reasons for suicide but troubling a child with this when he or she is so malleable is wrong. Just as child abuse is wrong this is just as wrong to do to a child. talk about setting a child up for failure.

  • josie

    Marriage, no…legal contract, okay.

    • jackactionhero

      Josie, your marriage will now be a legal contract as well then. Mine too. Hope that’s ok. No marriage for gays, then no marriage for you or I either. Fair is fair, right?

    • Lioness

      Okay, I’m good with that. Civil unions are cool in my book.

      • TL

        like theres a difference……..

      • Rick

        As a gay man myself i see Civil Unions as a fair alternative. I could care less what its called i would just like the right to be able to visit my partner if her were to be injured and in the hospital, i would like the right to be in charge of his estate when or if he were to pass, I feel as of this argument gets lost in the term “marriage” If we were fighting for Civil Unions i doubt this battle would be so intense. If a Civil Union allows me the same rights as a traditional Marriage i am fine with that.

        • Rick

          WOW!!! sorry for all the typos..lol

  • Alex B.

    Am I the only one here who thinks that it’s unfair to ask the majority to vote on the rights of a minority? It’s wrong. I am surprised that so many people on here don’t take it with a grain of salt. It’s unamerican. Period.

    What blows my mind even more is the fact that we are not going to be voting on legalizing gay marriage. Regardless of the outcome of this vote, gay people will not be able to marry in this state as our law prohibits that. This is an onslaught on common sense and our constitutional rights. Our politicians (in this case the MN GOP that put this amendment on the ballot) are just plain f*ing with us.

    • Michele

      You’re absolutely right, Alex B. And even if you’re on the fence on this issue, or not happy with the idea of gay marriage, how much is this referendum going to cost the taxpayer?

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