ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — It’s now up to voters to decide whether to ban gay marriage in Minnesota.

After nearly six hours of emotional debate, a proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman was approved in the Minnesota House late Saturday night. It was the last legislative step needed to put the question on the statewide ballot in November 2012.

State law already prohibits gay marriage, but supporters of the proposed amendment said it’s necessary to prevent judges or lawmakers from legalizing it in the future. Opponents said the constitution should be used to expand rights, not limit them, and predicted a long, divisive debate over the next 18 months.

The House voted 70-62 mostly along party lines in the GOP-controlled chamber, though four Republicans crossed over to vote ‘no’ while two Democrats voted in favor of the ban.

During Saturday’s debate, which drew hundreds of people to the Capitol, Rep. Karen Clark described her 22-year committed relationship with her female partner. The Minneapolis Democrat said they considered getting married in Iowa, where gay marriage is legal, so her ailing father could see her marry.

“Please don’t make me go off to Iowa,” she told her colleagues. “I was raised in Minnesota. I’m a child of Minnesota.”

After the vote, Clark said it was “a sad day for Minnesota.”

But Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference, said it was an important step and that “Minnesotans have been given the opportunity to have an important conversation about the future of marriage.”

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has no power to block the question from the ballot, but said before the vote that he would fight it. Dayton called the amendment, which the Senate approved last week, “un-Minnesotan.”

A rare quiet prevailed in the House chamber as members made emotional and often personal speeches in opposition to the amendment. The issue drew an unusually large crowd to the Capitol, where supporters and opponents traded loud chants earlier in the day but quieted considerably when the debate started around dinnertime.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt, the bill’s sponsor, said voters should have the final word on the issue.

“This is not about hatred. It is not about discrimination or intolerance,” said Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud.

But fellow Republican Rep. John Kriesel described how losing his legs while serving in Iraq began a personal transformation of his views on the issue. He said he would have supported the amendment five years ago, but has since realized that the country for which he fought should not deny two people who love each other the right to marry.

“I’m pleading with you to vote no,” said Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove. “I’m begging you.”

Ban opponents made up the majority of observers who stayed late to watch the debate from the second floor of the Capitol, where televisions broadcasted a live feed. They could be heard from inside the House chamber singing hymns and occasionally cheering during pivotal moments of lawmakers’ speeches.

The debate had been postponed Friday after a pastor known for anti-gay comments delivered a controversial prayer on the House floor that prompted Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers to apologize.

During Saturday’s floor debate, many lawmakers spoke of their own marriages and families, gay relatives and friends, religions and military service, or facing discrimination and bullying as children.

Several said they worried that debate on the issue between now and November 2012 would leave gay youth feeling marginalized and vulnerable.

Among the few Republicans who spoke during the debate was Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing, who called the proposed amendment “an assault on personal freedom and choice” and a “giant step backward.”

Besides Gottwalt, the only other Republican to speak in favor of the amendment was Rep. Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake. He described being torn, and said his teenage daughter recently pointed out that she would be 18 by November 2012 — and she plans to vote against the ban.

“She said, ‘Dad, I think a person should be able to marry whomever they love whether it’s the opposite sex or not,”‘ Hamilton said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (216)
  1. approve gay marriage says:

    We need to make it legal for us gays to marry. Its not a man and a woman its who you fall in love with. We should be allowed to make our choice of who we want to marry. We are not hurting anyone by being allowed to marry

    1. Paul says:

      Well I was undecided untill I read your hate filled message. I will not be swayed by bigots like you who use religion as a mantra. And by the way, I am straight and have 9 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. I will vote to allow them to marry

      1. Big Gay Sal says:

        Dave you know you want to give Big Sal a kiss, I can convert you.

        1. Little Larry says:

          Kisses and pink ribbons to DAVE

      2. Carol says:

        Sound like you have a sheep fetish Dave. Have you talked to anyone about it

        1. Dave says:

          Why would that bother you Carol? Whats the differnce if I am not hurting anybody? SHAME on YOU for such a biggoted racist comment. You liberals are so predjudiced to only YOUR way of thinking.

          1. Carol says:

            Dave you came to this site to profess your hatred and then have the gall to say your not hurting anyone. Think about it. Your very sick

          2. Sean says:

            The only real issue is; the Uited States participated in a war against fascism between 1941-1945. Many people have died so that we the people could make up our own minds rather than have the government tell who can and cannot get married, who can and cannot have children, hold jobs, where to live, etc… It’s a slippery slope indeed when one tries to mske those decisions based on fear and ignorance.

        2. Corky says:

          Whats the difference…….one mans passion is another mans poison. If sexual deviancy is legitimized then anything goes. Why can’t a person marry a sibling or a parent, or someone marry the family pet. Or are just a closet bigot that wants what you have & the hell with anyone else.

      3. Shane G says:

        @Dave Yeah and like a sheep can sign a marriage contract and say “I do.” Let me know also when you see a sheep that can make medical decisions for you and take care of the kids while you are gone and cook them dinner.

      4. Sean says:

        Slippery slope much, Dave?

      5. PJ says:

        Really? You are comparing this to marrying animals??!! Jesus is disappointed. He loves you and respects you, just as he does ALL people, but he is definitely disappointed. I know this for sure, Dave.

      6. Emily says:

        Ad hominem argument, Dave.

      7. gc says:

        Dave you are an idiot sir

    2. Fabulous Freddy says:

      Likely this poor soul is not secure in his or her marriage, or relationships and life in general…shame, shame, shame says Fabulous Fred

    3. Hezus says:

      More like romlllmao.

      mll = my lezzielover

    4. Johnny says:

      I guess we will have to make maps of the areas of the state that are represented by the bigots. We need to know where to not spend any of our money until the bigots are voted out.

      1. Johnson says:

        Where does Bachmann live? That the largest concentration of morons in the state…

      2. Johnson says:

        Where does Bachman live? That’s the largest concentration if idiots in the state…

        1. Robert says:

          Unfortunately she is from my home town – Stillwater. I am embarrased. The chaplain she suggested to open the legislative session thinks gays should be locked up. Amazing.

    5. Ivan says:

      Opposite sex couples usually do a great job of raising kids, so do single parents, and so do gay couples. Can there be problems? Of course, but that is true for ALL THE ABOVE! Family doesn’t have to mean opposite sex couples, which can be just as distructive as any other couples, it depends on the individuals involved, not their gender.

      1. TC says:

        Oh yeah, all the single mothers living off the govt. are doing a great job, and are such a productive benefit to society.

        1. Jenny says:

          I am a single mother, I have a good job in marketing and am going to law school part time . . . With all due respect TC my son and I are productive to society and I support equal marriage for all!

    6. mamatellie says:

      I am a straight, married woman with children. I ask you Lnpiller – what about men and women that marry and never have children? Are they a family, and if so, why? They don’t fit your definition either. Grow up.

    7. Shane G says:

      @Lnpiller. Look at California? mean the Straight ole’ Arnold Schwarzenegger cheating on his wife during office with other women and having a love child?? I guess that explains why there are so many neutral names. Ask yourself, what is it to you if a gay couple or a straight couple decide to get married? Don’t like gay marriage, don’t have one. Artificial? Apparently that is your own definition in the fake dictionary that’s inside your head.

    8. Laurie says:

      Dear Lnpiller, my same-sex partner and I have raised two adopted daughters who were in an orphanage for 4 years. They were the product of a heterosexual union. Luck yfor them they got a great home. We are not an artificial family. Look, I will help you out. It’s like this. If you are left handed, you are left handed. Is that something you choose? No. Is it a lifestyle? No. Are you still entitled to love and marrying the person of your choice. And so it is with us, we are who we are because we are born who we are. We live our lives; our lives are not lifestyles. 0ur families are just as real as yours. We deserve the same protections which ONLY marriage provides. Period. Canada, Spain, South Africa, The Netherlands, Argentina, Mexico City and Iowa are a few of the places with marriage equality.. Times are changing, Love will prevail whether or not you like it. It may not happen right now but is WILL happen, Our young people are much more open, and tolerant and embrace equality. They are my hope. for the future.

      1. pucka says:

        I think that one day, within my lifetime, we will look back on this debate with embarrassment. It will be as archaic as slavery and allowing women to vote. Since when has our nation been about denying rights to its citizens? We are supposed to be about freedom and tolerance. It’s inevitable and poll numbers are proving it. As the younger, more enlightened generations become the majority we will win this fight.

    9. g55122 says:

      I am pleased that it will be left to the majority to decide.

      1. drcootieface says:

        My sentiments exactly! I am sure that the good citizens of the great state of Minnesota will vote against the amendment. I hope they will also vote out of office the mean-spirited, behind-the-times Republicans who made the poor decision to propose this in the first place.

        1. Just Sayin' says:

          He was referring to the MAJORITY

    10. TheBunnyMan says:

      I know, they are totally changing the definition of marriage. Not hurting anyone indeed. Lets look at California, no more white males marrying white females. No more fathers or mothers just African names and tribal rituals. Yeah your not hurting anyone, just the whole damn civilization. Ask yourself. What is the point for a black man to marry a white woman as opposed to having two people of the same race come together and create a family? Is it some sort of artificial family you crave. Why not do the real thing and take the plunge and have a real relationship with the same race.

      The weird thing is the person who wrote the original probably agrees with the modified version above too. It’s hard to fix stupid but it’s easy to fix gay marriage – take the government out of the marriage business and grant equal rights to partners of any faith, race, or sexual orientation / configuration. Constitutional amendments like this don’t make discrimination right they just point out the states that managed so get things painfully wrong for a while.

    11. Samsara says:

      How would they be harming society? What are you imagining? You are simply caught up in your own irrationality. Whatever you happen to be uncomfortable with = harming society, huh? That’s a big statement from such a little mind. Check your reasoning. Check your importance and position on the planet Earth. Society is NOT about what you, personally, are uncomfortable with. How do you even make it through your day knowing that the world does not revolve around your comforts and preferences?

      It’s none of your business if two people who are NOT YOU want to marry each other. The POINT is NOT YOURS; the POINT it is only relevant to THEM. Why should they explain themselves to you? Why don’t YOU explain to the rest of us why you’re so interested in other couples’ marriages? Go get your own…

    12. Samsara says:


    13. Tom says:

      Very well said. Family. Procreation. Leave it to the husband and wife.

    14. Tom says:

      Pigs aren’t gay.

      1. Frank says:

        luckily pigs don’t have this problem…. good old natural order haha

      2. Corum says:

        Actually the animal kingdom has gays too. Also, insane etc. But the herd type animals dont usually allow that much deviation from normal behavior because they see it as endangering the herd, so they force it out, and if it wont go, they kill it.

        I see a lot of hatred here from both sides of the issue, sorry but the “tolerant” left is showing its hypocrisy and it is just as hateful as the far right they are condemning.

        Apparently a person cant be opposed to this without being a bigot, hater, religious zealot, or republican. Nice marginalizing to validate your own position.

        Personally i dont care if someone marries the same sex, though i am not thrilled with the moniker marriage being applied to it. I dont have a problem with them having the same legal validity as a married couple. Though i think there will be a time when it wont matter because there will be no legal acknowledgement of marriage or partnerships, and it will simply be something done through church or proclamation.

        But this kind of b.s. is nicely keeping people from worrying about things that might be slightly more important to citizens of the this country, such as the fact that the us dollar is losing its reserve status and we will probably be looking at thousands if not tens of thousands percent inflation and basically we will be gone within about 8 years. but enjoy this marriage gay marriage thing. very exciting.

      3. Hillbilly says:

        Prove it !

    15. jw says:

      And this trash is what you use to justify your stance? Religion is evil.

    16. PoliticalStudent says:

      Except in our Constitution we have a legal separation of Church and State. Thus, your argument is void.

    17. Kate says:

      What does the bible have to do with how others live their lives? The US was founded on keeping religion out of government. As long as they are good people and good citizens who are you to tell them who they can and cannot marry?

      1. Where in the world do you find that? says:

        “The US was founded on keeping religion out of government.”

    18. Proverbs 18 says:

      22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

      1. stan says:

        “he who cites bible verses in political arguments may be seen as a knob in the eyes of stan”
        book of stan 3:23
        ever heard of separation of church and state? and whats all that love thy neighbor stuff if it only applies to certain people (not directly calling you out, just the tone of a few individuals arguments on here)? religion continues to baffle me and seems to hinder emotional maturity. its ludicrous for anyone to tell anyone who they can’t love/marry.

        1. Annie says:

          One who tries to remove 6000 years of history to become acceptable to society, is foolish. An apple is an apple no matter how loudly you proclaim it’s an orange,

          1. Pat says:

            What business does Christian right wingers have inserting their beliefs into my Constitution? This is a stupid proposition that will not effect current law but will bring out the bible bangers to vote!

            What a blatant political act by the Republican Party of Minnesota!

            How’s that balanced budget working for you, Legislature? How about all those “jobs” bills you passed like the one that lays of 15% of the curent state work force! Wow, what cajones you have!

            Did you spend a lot of time looking at solutions to the deficit this weekend. or spend all your time considering what Jesus would do?

            1. Kurt says:

              What Jesus would do is hate the sin but love the sinner. When using the Bible as your weapon of choice in any battle, everyone should study the word and know what It says. Bending, twisting, or leaving out what does not fit into your lifestyle is not they way to achieve eternal life and that is not a narrow statement that is pointed directly at the issue of gay marriage. The lifestyles differ between many people that call themselves Christians. Some issues are small, but none the less argued among different denominations of the Christian church (This is a huge failure of the Christian church as a whole but only because MAN has injected it’s own opinion and interpretation’s of God’s Word into the church). Some issues are larger and truly do affect God’s intent for man. I do not like the fact that man feels the need to legislate everything. I also do not like the ACLU and other special interest groups doing their best to take away my rights to surround myself with the Word of God in public places. This discussion could go on and on but I will leave it with, If you are an United States citizen the Constitution is not yours! It’s OUR’S.

          2. Lisa Braun Dubbels says:

            Then can we ban football? Because touching the skin of a pig is forbidden in Leviticus.

            1. AJ says:

              And so is piercing, hair cutting, and somewhere it says we should stone children who disobey their elders/parents should be stoned to death [or something like that not quite sure], and other things that people have done.

              1. aj says:

                i was repetetive in the statement about stoning children who disobey their parents… my bad

          3. Snoopy says:

            Hey Annie and all the other hate mongers:
            I can see the likes of you as similar to the german voters that voted Hitler into power in Nazi Germany in 1933. You think it’s not like that, but yes, indeed, it starts exactly like that. Because if the humanity of just one group of people gets destroyed, then you guys just proceed to the next and the next, until no humanity is left for anyone. And then, if you have any conscience left, which I doubt, you might ask yourself how this horrible thing could have happened.

            And no, you don’t have to call yourself a nazi to be one or to act like one.

            Here these United States fought World War 2 to end this insanity, and now the
            same cancer is festering here.

      2. Kathleen Berg says:

        You can always find what you want in the Bible to support any view. Why don’t we look at the human view – I don’t believe Jesus would deny anyone love or medical care.

    19. Annie says:

      I love my Mom. Could I marry her?

      1. Mike says:

        That’s a different kind of love. Learn the difference. Are you sexually attracted to your mother?

      2. Kathleen Berg says:

        Well that is a bit sick isn’t it??

      3. DENNIS says:

        Annie is a dummy !

    20. Mr. M says:

      I hope this helps to clear things up a bit.

      It’s all explained on YouTube.

  2. Nancy W. says:

    What an amazing way to distract from MN GOP’s incompetence in rebalancing the budget and fixing real issues like unemployment and worsening business climate. The elected officials are failing us miserably.

    1. Deb says:

      Bravo, your exactly right!! Republicans don’t care about the american people at all…. unless you have something to give them!! This was just a ploy to flex the muscles they think they have!! I DO hope Minnesotans wake up and remember that God put everyone on earth!! He did not make everyone the same!!!

    2. MCullen Ne says:

      Yes Nancy where is our budget.? What a waste of time and money. I hope these idiots get voted out. At least I can say I didn’t vote any of them in. Republicans need to quite shoving their beliefs down my throat.

    3. pat says:

      I agree, vote President Obama out.

  3. Cheryl from Rochester says:

    I hope the GOP is proud of themselves. Shame on all of them. They and their false mantra of creating jobs and keeping government out of our lives. They only want the government out of business regulation. Otherwise, they are all too eager to tell us who we can’t marry and that we shouldn’t have reproductive health rights. And they’ll give us all guns to make us feel better.

    What a waste the lot of them are.

    1. Fabulous Freddy says:

      No way no how, gays should not be legally allowed to married. I am as gay as can be and I oppose gay rights.

  4. Patrick PatPat Lilja says:

    For those of us who reject this hateful amendment, we have to be careful when we vote on this. They will probably word it in a way such that filling the “no” option is actually in support of a constitutional ban, and “yes” is actually a vote against, so that people who only fill out for candidates and ignore the rest will inadvertently vote in favor of hatred and discrimination.

    1. Deb says:

      good point!!

  5. Mary Jean in St Paul says:

    Shame on those who voted for this. The power of those singing “We Shall Overcome” outside the chamber was very appreciated by those in the chamber gallery who witnessed the sane, supportive remarks of legislators. Please send thank yous to legislators who stand lovingly with GLBT persons in Minnesota. We know the truth of our lived lives. We are not alone. We are loved. May we grow stronger together in the coming months. God is still speaking.

  6. Deadserious says:

    What we need is separation of church and state. What we need to ban is any public display of religion. Religion is the root of most evil and strife in the world. And please note that all of our nation’s problems, aside from natural disasters, have been caused by politicians. And it’s time to diminish the budget crisis by taxing nonprofits.

    1. Lnpiller says:

      Religion the root of most evil and strife in the world. Tell that to Martin Luther King Jr.
      You just don’t like the Christian religion because it does not endorse your behavior. Be thankful you don’t live in a country where their religion would have you killed in the street like a mad dog if your behavior became public. Wake up and appreciate the tolerance that has been shown to you. Changing a society to fit your desires will come with a lot of bumps and bruises and if you are a small minority requiring a majority to change may just be impossible.

      1. Samsara says:

        I think you should move to such a country. You would be happier there, yes? I only want what’s best for you, after all.

      2. Tatersalad says:

        Religion – What do you mean by Religion ?
        A “Religion” that is pure and idealistic and peaceful. Nut of course.
        Or, the “Religion” that strives to do good and be good.
        Or, here we have the “Religion” that tries to act as a “Lawmaker” for all.
        Then we got the “Religion” that talks about a “personal relationship with God”.
        And next we got a “Religion” that is based on hate on anger. And another based on race. But wait, there is more: A “Religion” that makes you blind to suffering of your fellowman. Sure, coming right up. Another “Religion” that takes some beliefs and then absurdly tries to apply scientific standards to those beliefs.
        Absoultely. Anything seems to be possible with “Religion”. Need more ideas?
        Sure “Meanspirited killers wrap themselves in the mantle of God” and by golly, they have got themselves a “government protected religion”. True? Yes, true.
        Truth is stranger than fiction. What else comes to mind? Yes, “Small minded tribal violence justified by a thin veneer of religion”. Sure. No problem.
        For the most part, the ideal religion does not exist. What does exist is a heavily abused and tortured set of ideas and standards. So, again, which “Religion” are you talking about ?

    2. TheTruth says:

      You may want to be careful what you hope for… You could be on the streets tomorrow hoping one of them will help you. Non-profit means they do “not profit!

      If you do the research our country, the one you live in was based on Christianity. This has provided your freedom. I also do not think that our government banning gay marriage is going to stop people from being gay and it is not going to keep it from our children being exposed to it, so I say let them be, stop wasting time and money on it. Everyone will answer in the end…

      No one is required to live in the US. There are other countries…

      1. MCullen NE says:

        Non profit it not a true term. They make money and churches suck money out of people and intimidate with their lies.

        1. M says:

          Why can’t it be called something else than Marriage? So if I decide a frog is a snake we should change the definition of a snake to include a frog. Leave definitions alone. Why not call it a joining so than that will be universal. Why would you want it to be the same??
          If it was meant to be the same two men or two women could procreate. Lets look at the facts. Called Comman Sense not a lot of people around with it anymore.

          1. Mike says:

            Not all men and women can procreate. Guess they shouldn’t be allowed to get married either.

          2. Ivan says:

            Why does it have to be “something else than marriage”? Isn’t that the mess that is called Civil Unions, which don’t work either…”He is my Civil Partner” Has quite a ring to it, doesn’t it?

            1. Mike says:

              They should just take away the term marriage and give everyone the title of “Civil Unions.”

    3. Oh, that's brilliant says:

      “Religion is the root of most evil and strife in the world.”

    4. Mr. M says:

      I hope this helps to clear the air on this topic. It’s important to know.

  7. TheTruth says:

    Gay marriage is between the gay people and God. Let them decide for themselves. They, like the rest of us will have to answer in the end. Stop wasting time and money on this and let them do what they want.

    As long as everyone is talking about government spending and the economy:

    As far as the government creating jobs they do not do this. They do however affect our economy which dictates if a company can hire or not.

    During “good times” we still did not get many roads or bridges fixed. There was no raise in welfare. In fact I am pretty sure some of the programs were cut??? The non-profits have been helping people for years with behind home payments, rent, food, medical and utilities, not our government. Tuition help hasn’t had a raise. I could go on and on. Where did this money go? Now all of these programs are going to be cut. Government workers, teachers, welfare (for the middle class that has worked for years and are now struggling, not those that “continue to live off of it”), tuition, and again I could go on and on. In addition our taxes will go up again. Money goes to the top and stays there. It does not go to the struggling middle class that pays taxes and keeps businesses open by spending.

    I am tired of hearing about having mdical insurance is a Priveledge. Our government needs to get a handle on these insurance companies. If they would actually do that instead making more and more menial laws for the citizens our economy would be better off. It sure would be nice for all of us to get a bonus if we went bankrupt like those CEO’s did…

    Maybe the government should make a law that says anyone buying a home cannot exceed 30% of their income on this since people do not know how to regulate their own finances and our banks were too foolish to not say no to a loan that someone could not afford. Taking away first time homebuyer money and Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac is not going to stop the banks from doing something that foolish again. (Two months ago the Star Tribune reported that 41% of Minnesota homeowners were behind on their house payment.)

    Maybe our government needs someone that has had to be accountable for their money and pinch pennies to get the job done right. And it is not just one party, it is both. Do the research.

  8. CJC says:

    And yes… I do expect to be called every name in the book for voicing my opinion in front of this group that inevitably spews hatred to anyone who has a different view than theirs.

  9. Victim Du Jour says:

    Gay Marraige has been used by gay activists to bully religious institutions with gay lawsuit abuse and gay junk lawsuits.

    1st Amendment says religious freedom too, people have the right to live free from Judicial Activism too.

    Marraige Amendments don’t stop Civil Unions, so the media is inciting civil unrest by leaving that part out of their reporting.

    1. Ivan says:

      ActuallyI believe you’re wrong, this would stop civil unions between same sex couples.

      1. TheTruth says:

        It has not stopped our children or nation from being exposed to it yet… Isn’t that the whole point of it??? Or is it a control issue? Again, everyone answers in the end and if you are a true Christian the bible says not to judge. The bible also says we are all sinners.

        I say let it be and let God. We have much bigger issues that God has given us the freedom of choice to make.

        1. the real truth says:

          romans chapter one. KJV/Amplified
          God has already spoken on it.

      2. chuck in st paul says:

        You have hit the proverbial nail on the head. This is about further mainstreaming a group of sad people with sexual/mental issues. We have modified the law and can do it some more to accomodate “gay” couples.

        This is about pushing in our faces.

      3. M B says:

        Except that this is what the law is saying: That gays have no right to marry, even in a civil sense. There are two definitions of marriage, on religious and one legal. The state should not try to regulate religious marriage, yet religious interests are trying to regulate civil marriages.

        How exactly is that fair?

        1. Annie says:

          Instead of working so hard to make marriage fit your needs, why don’t you work hard to create something that will give you what you want or need (legally, etc) without changing the definition of marriage? Why insist that marriage changes to fit you?

    2. Laurie says:

      Victim Du Jour, what do you know about alternatives to marriage like civil unions or domestic partnerships? Ever have one? I doubt it. Otherwise you would know they offer our families, are generally not portable from one jurisdiction to the next, include none very few protections, and none of the
      1, 100+ Federal benefits and protections to families like mine, and generally are not recognized out side the U.S. Not cool. I know. My partner and I have such a limited alternative. If you’re so keen on sitting in the back of the bus, why don’t you downgrade your marriage to a civil union. They see how great it is.

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        Civil Unions fall under the same exact family codes and domestic partnership laws as Marraige in the State of California and in many States.

        As for “Sitting on the back of the Bus”, gays can’t put themselves in the same category as black people who experienced slavery and segregation, it’s not even close.

        1. Mark says:

          Yeah, no. Civil unions are in no way equal. Ever try moving to another state with a civil union, go luck. Marriages are equally recognized throughout the country. No one ever questions whether you get to stay married when you move to another state.

          Marriage is the word we currently use for the most legally solid and recognized partnership you can get. Any civil union is a poor substitute and that is the idea, make sure that you keep gays from having the same rights. It needn’t be as bad as “as black people who experienced slavery and segregation” to be incredibly wrong. Or maybe it is your opinion that there is no such thing as abusing minority groups until you enslave them?

          1. Victim Du Jour says:

            Heterosexual Couples can produce Organic Children so the word “Marraige” is a good way to distinguish that part. It’s a Natural fact displayed among many species of living creatures inhabiting the planet Earth.

            You are just trying to sell twinkles at a whole food store.

            1. Ivan says:

              Odd…I thought all children are “organic”! Parenting isn’t about the gender of the parents, its about the individuals, and what kind of people they are. Opposite sex couples can raise great kids, so can single parents, and same sex couples!

      2. Victim Du Jour says:

        My Parents got a Civil Union in Nevada during the 60’s and jumped through the same exact hoops as married Couples to get a divorce during the 70’s.

        It appears it might be easier to make a uniform Civil Union law for gay couples in all 50 States.

        Religious freedom and Liberty means gays are free to start their own places of worship and scouting clubs. Gay activists spend more time money and energy suing everyone, and the Marraige amendment is a response to junk lawsuit bullying.

  10. Deadserious says:

    @Lnpiller — I happen to be married and straight. What’s clear to me is that the biggest threat to freedom and democracy is religion and religious fanatics like you who think they have the right to dictate what everyone else should and shouldn’t do. Maybe you should take the time to reflect on why you’re so threatened by gay marriage. I say live and let live. Do you think jesus would have a problem with that?

    1. Michele says:

      Sara, references, please?

      1. michele here is your ref. says:

        Romans chapter one
        doubt it not.

    2. Carol says:

      Your the one that is disturbed

  11. Bob L says:

    Minnesotans are not so narrow as to deny rights to a specific group of persons. I predict the gay marriage amendment gets voted down overwhelmingly. Those who sponsored this bill will look ridiculous!

    1. Sara says:

      I highly doubt it. Why are all the queens afraid of letting the people decide?

      Don’t you accept majority rule?

      Why can’t I marry 10 wives?

      Why can’t my neighbor marry his dog? A dog is man’s best friend, after all.

      I laugh out loud when liberals use words such as “shame on you republicans”

      1. Ivan says:

        Sara, none of those things are at issue here, stay on point…try to keep up

      2. Alex V says:

        No, I don’t accept majority rule when it comes to the rights of a minority. If majority rule determined all of our rights, blacks still wouldn’t be able to use white bathrooms or drinking fountains in the South.

        1. kim says:

          Alex is right, in a democracy the rights of the minorities are protected from the oppression of the majority.

      3. Mark says:

        Majority rule on civil rights? On the rights of a specific minority group? Yeah, that’s a recipe for disaster.

        That is precisely the reason we have a supreme court, because you do not just get to hold a majority vote and grant or strip rights from anyone you choose. Our country is not one that embrace the idea of “a simple majority vote always wins”. This is why we require super majority votes, checks by the courts and veto’s by the executive branch. Otherwise you can get some rather insane stuff through the system.

        Indeed shame on you republicans, so being closed minded, backwards and hateful. Yes, it is hateful to oppose gay marriage. It is the act of hearing a group cry out for equal rights and saying to them, no, you do not deserve them. That is hate at it’s core, denying your fellow man the same rights you enjoy. There is no excuse, none. You cannot say it is out of love, because no one would force a person they loved to believe what they believed. Encourage, preach, sure, but to meld a religion into the law of the land… that is hate.

    2. narrow Minnesotans Bob L says:

      most states, decent states support the male/female marriage def.
      Expect some loony judge/court to write law for the legislative branch
      and the people.
      God will repay.

  12. JC says:

    You would never tell your friends/family who the can’t marry, so why would you tell complete strangers they can’t marry someone they love? Marriage can’t be defined into one simple definiton because, it is dfferent for everyone who enters into it.

    1. Paul in Selby says:

      You are twisted!

      1. Kate says:

        Twisted because thye are ok with letting 2 adults decide who they want to marry? How is it your business who 2 strangers want to marry. If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person.

  13. Michele says:

    Why on earth would you want government to dictate to churches on who they could marry, or anything else, for that matter? THINK, people!

    1. Ivan says:

      Government isn’t dictating to churches, a church isn’t required for a marriage to be legal. Before shouting to people to THINK…try doing some of it yourself!

      1. can't please some people says:

        I am sick and tired of people on here telling me that we are a democratic nation. ( We are a representative republic ). ANYWAY so the republicans want to put it to a vote ( VERY DEMOCRATIC ) and they get riped. what the hell do some of you people out there want !!!! ITS THE DEMOCRATIC WAY to put it to a vote

        1. smb says:

          Yes, let the people vote. I would like to vote on the abortion bill the Republicans tried to force through. And the new gun laws they tried to push. Why don’t they let us vote on those? Maybe because they know they’d lose.

          I for one look forward to voting against this amendment and any republican who put it there.

    2. smb says:

      Sorry Michelle but this has nothing to do with forcing churches to perform same sex marriages.
      No one forces catholic churches to marry non-catholic couples.

      And what about the churches that do want to allow gay marriages? Aren’t you taking away their religious freedoms?

  14. will says:

    So many voted to “let the people vote” so little spoke about why it was so important!!! They sat there quietly as if no one would notice!!! Cowardly!! Its obvious they know they are in the wrong and history too will show where they stood like others before them who voted to take the rights away from minorities. . Shame on all of you who voted to spread this discrimination and violation of others civil liberties.

  15. Carol says:

    And why does it bother you. Might be down deep you have a hidden secret

  16. Ivan says:

    Same can be said for straight wackos like the Mormon Church which dumped a lot of money into Prop 8 in California. How much do you want to bet they won’t do that again here in MN?

  17. Janet L. says:

    Why are so many afraid to let the public decide this once and for all. Isn’t that the way our government is set up? Majority rule? Why all the name calling? Funny how the Liberals always blame the GOP for everything and are constantly hollaring about job creation. THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE JOBS UNLESS THEY ARE MORE GOVERNMENT JOBS PAID FOR BY THE ALREADY BROKE TAX PAYERS!

    All the hippie liberals should be required to go back to school and learn something about civics and economics.

    1. Alex V says:

      Majority rule does not and should not apply when it comes to minority rights. If majority rule determined all of our rights, blacks still wouldn’t be able to use white bathrooms or drinking fountains in the South.

    2. Bb says:

      Why do you feel that anyone should determine a fellow Americans rights based on their religious views and belief system. Keep religion out of government, keep it in the home and church where it belongs. Hippie liberals, that is laughable, are we back in the 60’s now, really grow up. We are not discussing job creation, this is about gay marriage. It is a sad day when in the USA we are voting on whether one group in our society will be denied their rights based on the prejudices and religious views of another. Sad day for this country in my opinion.

    3. USS Atlantis says:

      If it was up to the majority there’s a lot of what we now call “civil rights” that would have been voted down

      Just because the majority votes for it, doesn’t make it right – and this will be the same thing – the people who vote “yes” for this are nothing more than religious bigots who would like nothing more than to create a Christian Theocracy here

      So much for “religion neutral” laws

    4. Kim says:

      You should learn about a democratic government. A democracy protects the rights of the minorities. Hollering at others and insulting them is something you’re also doing.

  18. thenn says:

    who cares let the gay go to hell

    1. gc says:

      you will be judged

  19. Bb says:

    I will vote “NO” on the gay marriage ban, religion has no place in government or politics. I will not deny a fellow American their rights based on one group in society that feels they have the right to dictate who has rights based on their own narrow minded, ignorant, arrogant religious views, that by the way not every American agree with. Keep religion in the home and church where it belongs.

  20. Mike says:

    It is really unfair that a bunch of bigots are going to get to vote on the rights of others. There’s no doubt that it will pass here. Hatred will officially be written into the constitution. This really hurts and saddens me.

  21. Laurie says:

    CJC, having a traditional view of marriage doesn’t make a person hateful, evil, or wrong but imposing this view in a manner which prohibits others with different views on this subject from marrying does make that person hateful, evil, and wrong.Keep your traditional marriage in your traditional church or house of worship but don’t limit civil marriage as it IS a civil right, albeit one that many people are denied.

  22. Samsara says:

    What do you have against wackos?
    They call attention to relevant social issues; and then [eventually] society addresses them. Wackos are often the “leading edge” and have been around for a VERY long time. Have you been complaining about them your whole life? Aren’t you tired of complaining?

  23. Sean says:

    I don’t know, Minnesota
    We’ve voted in pro wrestlers and comedians.
    Our track record as voters is pretty lousy. Maybe the only way to win is not to play.

    That said, I’m fortunate that my soul-mate has genitalia different from mine, because, based on the sample of MN voters in this forum, we’re impossibly stupid as a group.

  24. Pert says:

    I do not think it inconceivable that any culture examine that large group of inconcevables, obviously the men before granting enmasse the same rights to all. In short, gays are exploding in numbers and I’d like an explanation of that aberration before opening the door to them to ever more rights..

    1. Kate says:

      What makes you think they are exploding in numbers? Perhaps it is just they aren’t so quiet about it. They aren’t so afraid to admit it now that it isn’t so likely they’d be beaten and harassed.

      Lableing it an aberration shows how you feel about it. No wonder people would want to hide from you. They get tired of being judged for how they were born.

      1. Mike says:

        Exactly. There have always been gay people, just as many as there is now, but they had to hide. We’re done hiding now.

  25. Dave Campbell says:

    Makes me very sad to be a Minnesotan! We were the first to send troops to fight in the Civil War to abolish slavery. We are better than this! We can not let this amendment pass! Everyone is equal under my Gods eyes and it is not up to me to judge. I’ll leave that up to GOD!

    1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

      Actually abolishing slavery was not the cause of the civil war. Lincoln specifically promised not to abolish slavery in an attempt to keep the ‘border’ states, who were wavering at the time on whether to secede or not, in the Union. (4 stayed)

      The Emancipation Declaration (1863) freed only those slaves living in areas not controlled by the Union. Slaves in Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, for example, which stayed with the Union, were still slaves.

  26. Denny says:

    I don’t believe that it is the govs , or my job, to tell people who they can love. I’m not gay, but who am I to tell you that you can’t be. There are a lot of things that people SHOULD be allowed to vote on, as I believe our elected officials don’t do the majoritys will in governing. As for the gay marrage vote, I will vote to allow it. To do otherwise would be just plain MEAN. Leave them alone to live , love and be happy- like everybody else.

  27. Dave Campbell says:

    I’m heading off to church now where I will ask God to forgive your hatred and bigotry!

  28. ben says:

    I am usually proud to be a Minnesotan, however after reading this I am quite disgusted. Why do people constantly feel the need to be involved in the private lives of others? Let them live their lives please. It’s not like marriage is as SACRED as people make it out to be, 1 of 2 marriages end in divorce. Why do ultra-religious people constantly judge others and have to tell people how to live? Can’t you just be smugly satisfied in your belief that all non-believers will go to hell? Everyone deserves the right to live their life how they choose. Whether you agree or not does not matter. We still live in a country of freedom, right? Please do not make me ashamed to be a Minnesotan by passing this amendment.

  29. Johnsom says:

    This is going to be awesome! Voters are tired of the ignorant people called the republican party. For once and for all, we will vote to make gay marriage legal.

    Thanks Republicans for allowing a vote. Once this gets killed we can move on to allowing gays to marry! You pigs just shot yourselves in the foot…

    1. Alex V says:

      Defeating this amendment won’t make Same Sex Marriage legal. It is already against the law in Minnesota, this would just put it into the constitution.

  30. It's Time For A Vote! says:

    I Can’t Wait!

    1. Ruth says:

      What is this all about letting gays get married when in the eyes of GOD its wrong.
      God’s word says marriage is between one man and one woman. Our senators and representatives have been voted in to do our laws and not have to decide how to define marriage. When we all know what marriage is all about.

  31. gc says:

    Republicans are hate filled bigots. I am a middle of the road guy and voted republican because I wanted a fiscally responsible government. Not a bigoted hate filled vote to happen in my state. I regret my vote for the GOP and will never do so again. Extremests and bigots the lot of them. Also, they obviously want a major national fight over this and they will get one.

    ANd save me your idiotic arguments about sheep or goats or whatever else you secretly want to f#@$. We are talking about commited people to eachopther who want to share their lives together like most.

  32. Robert says:

    I am not particulairly in favor of gay marriage, but I will vote no simply because republicans are such norrow minded fanatical biggots.

  33. Charlie says:

    I vote that we keep the gays and ban the Catholic church.

  34. Robert says:

    I was not really in fovor of gay marriage, but I will vote No simply because republicans are such narrow minded, fanatical biggots.

  35. SK says:

    Unfortunately the legislators are really NOT letting the people decide this issue. We are not given the option to approve gay marriage. If I understand the bill, we are only going to decide whether we will make a constitutional amendment to keep marriage between a man and a woman. When we reject this amendment, the existing lMN law that defines marriage between a man and a woman still exists. What a waste of time this will be – and money that will be spend on all the ads that will be produced before the election – and we are not being given the right to vote on the real issue. So much for the GOP trust of Minnesotans – they just want it their way!

  36. Just Sayin' says:

    LEVITICUS 18:22 – You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. How can you argue against the word of God.

    1. James says:

      so is shrimp, do you eat shellfish?

      1. Just Sayin' says:

        LEVITICUS 11:9 – “These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat.”

    2. Kim says:

      No, that is the word of your bible, which was written by men hundreds of years ago. And why should I care what your bible says? It also wants us to go out and massacre those that don’t follow the same god. It has passages promoting multiple wives, then treating them like property.

      Keep religion out of government and government out of religion.

      1. Just Sayin' says:

        I am pleased that it is left to the majority to decide. Govt is to represent the will of people. Govt now is not about govt. It appears more about self preservation and re-election than leadership. This is an action that allows no accountability. Religeon & Govt: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

  37. Mark at MN Tax Waste says:

    As a gay man I hope this does not pass. I want to get married someday…

  38. Emily says:

    I am a straight female, and I will be voting in favor of gay marriage. Why? I am a fan of what our nation was founded on- Equal rights for all. Whether you’re black or white, male or female, republican or democrat, gay or straight– we all should have equal rights.

    It’s almost ridiculous that we need to vote on something spelled out in our constitution.

    (Although this case is not specific to Minnesota, because no laws concerning interracial marriage applied in our state, keep in mind that this is almost the same as black people marrying white people way back during the civil rights movement in 1967…)

  39. SteveO says:

    This is a freedom issue – not a “lifestyle” issue. As a conservative who normally votes Republican, I can’t think of one reason why any individual should have a say in who anybody marries. Butt out!

    1. chuck in st paul says:

      You are flying under false colors, sir. You are not a conservative if you do not believe that the distillation of 100,000 years of human experience has generated a number of societal rules that must be followed for the good of the tribe (society).

      The marriage of one man to one woman forming a “family” is one of those. It is time tested. It is not to be messed with by popoulist nonsense. You can look around you and see th results where such has already happened. It is not good.

      1. KC says:

        Actually the general principle of republicans is the less government involvement the better. They don’t want government deciding every little bit of our lives.

        So in truth Chuck, SteveO is more of a republican than the entire GOP.

  40. jw says:

    I thought you nutjobs were supposed to be gone yesterday. It would be a much better place without you.

  41. SteveO says:

    This whole issue is pure politics. It’s all about votes. It’s no coincidence that this is an issue as we near elections. Notice that NO politicians are coming out strongly in FAVOR of gay people having the right to marry? It’s sad that CONSERVATIVES LIKE ME have to be the defender of equal rights for gay people. Unlike many “equal rights” type agendas, this one really is about equal rights – not special rights. Gee, I thought we conservatives were supposed to be bigots! No, we conservatives are pragmatists, for the most part.

  42. Brian says:

    If banning the rights of gays to marry is defending marriage, then should’t we also abolish the practice of divorce?

  43. tuna-free dolphin says:

    A victory for state’s rights. Let the people decide. No to gay marriage. In fact I just might do it the democrat(ACORN) way and vote twice.

  44. CJC says:

    Why not give equal rights in every way and call it something other than marriage? To some marriage is a deeply religious and traditional institution that should not me modified in its definition to include GLBTs. To those people the inclusion of such is simply wrong. Pick your own term for gay unions and allow 100% legal equality to marriage. That way the traditionalists aren’t offended and the GLBT folks get the rights they desire. It is a compromise that might appeal to some but the hardcore opponents on both sides would surely prefer to argue. “separate but equal” may not be perfect but instead a better alternative to what we have right now. Just a thought.

  45. chuck in st paul says:

    This is just one more step in the destruction of traditional society.

    100,000 years of human experience has determined that one man should “marry” one woman and raise kids in a “family”. It’s what works best overall. Anything else might work, but in general does not work best for the “tribe” (society).

    Current law pretty much already allows “gay” couples all the things they want. The law can be tweaked to fix up any reasonable dislocates.

    This is purely about FORCING society to accept these folks as mainstream. They are NOT, and we should not.

    1. KC says:

      1) Human Society hasn’t been around that long. If you go by the bible, it’s been 6,000 years. If you go by evolution, human society has been around 50,000 years at most.

      2) Within those 50,000 years, different groups of humans came up with different practices. Monogamy, Polyandry, Polygyny, no marriage at all. The Bible even has many figures that are polygamous themselves. You can find these practices around the world still today and they are doing a-okay.

      3) Monogamous marriage for love is actually a very recent practice that evolved in the 17th or 18th century. Before then, you were considered off your rocker if you married just for love and 99% of the time people were in arranged marriages decided on their families and it was solely a business practice. Because of this reason is why you often find affairs to be more romanticized in legends (Like the Arthurian legends where….pretty much everyone was cheating)

      4) Also back then, it was perfectly legit to marry off your thirteen year old daughter. Essentially once she hit puberty, she was on the market.

      5) In addition to that, ancient times have shown owning slaves gets a lot of work done for cheap! Do you think we should go back to that too for a more traditional way of life? As well as the arranged marriages and marrying your daughters at 13?

      Just because something is traditional, doesn’t mean it’s golden.

  46. jw says:

    I KNOW!!! While this isn’t my personal issue, I get so tired of people calling me a racist or a bigot just because I think white and black people should be kept separate in society. It was that way for so long because it was the bead rock of society! Why did it ever have to change? I get called a racist for even suggesting we put up these 14th Amendment Rights to equal treatment under the law up for a vote! I’m a clearly the victim in this discussion and I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t see that. Let’s stop distorting all these issues. It’s about what people simply think is best for society and there really isn’t ever any bigotry. It is mean to call people a bigot and it makes them feel badly about themselves. Oh, and if we really are not bigots when we argue against same-sex marriage because children “need both a mother and a father,” why are we not voting to make divorce illegal? … if it’s really about kids and marriage.

  47. Special Butterfly says:

    One kiss from Big Gay Sal and it’s over. I want to be gay and I demand special rights and privileges. By the way, what is it I have to do to be gay?

    1. Santa-baby says:

      For you, since you are a special butterfly, as soon as you jump off a cliff, I shall find 40 bishops to pronounce you gay, posthumously.

  48. mark says:

    When they can make children yes, till that time he!! NO!

    1. Mike says:

      Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people shouldn’t legally get married because their unions will not yield offspring.

      1. Knorke says:

        You talk like a farmer who slaughters a cow who doesn’t give milk, and kills a bull because there was no offspring. Are you now proposing the same for humans. Just wondering, …

  49. Boblin. says:

    This is about hatred. It is about discrimination or intolerance. Just come out and admit it gay marriage opponents, you hate gay people.

  50. James says:

    Hatred with a smile, calculated, deliberate, mean. but with a smile.

  51. BF says:

    I don’t really care about this gay marriage bit but I do have an opinion about keeping this gay stuff in the privacy in your homes and not flaunt yourselves out in public…like men holding hands etc. Just keep your feelings to yourself and not flaunt it all over the place in public!!

    1. Curt says:

      Have you ever considered that you holding hands with a your wife in public may be just as revolting to someone as you seem to think two men or two women holding hands in public is? It’s called tolerance and equality. Your remarks just show what a closet bigot you are.

      1. Mike says:

        Exactly. How about you don’t flaunt your straight lifestyle in public? Don’t hold hands with your wife or girlfriend or whatever. Don’t give her a peck on the cheek or lips where others can see you. Gay people should have the right to do any of these things you do. We are not second class citizens. We are equal.

  52. The Crux of the Biscuit says:

    I am married therefore anyone else can marry. My right is your right. Funny how Republicans don’t understand that simple concept.

  53. uptown girl says:

    I don’t understand why we are focusing so much on the moral issues here. This is about legal rights, at least for me. Here is just a short list of the ways that this is legally/financially discriminatory by not allowing same-sex couples to marry.

    Have to pay to get these rights which are automatically granted by marriage:
    Wills, powers of attorney, and second parent adoption

    Incremental taxes:
    taxes on health insurance benefits to cover same-sex partner and estate taxes

    I wish there was a reset button that could allow us to go back and clarify the difference between legal marriage and religious marriage. The government should not have any part in defining religious marriages, but should have everything to do with ensuring legal equality granted by marriages.

  54. James says:

    Haters with a smile.

  55. Curt says:

    So much for the republican mantra about keeping government out of our personal lives. This bill, introduced my Rep. Gottwalt, is nothing more than an attempt to institutionalize hate and mistrust. It’s a shame that this should even be an issue, especially here in Minnesota. This is just another reason for cleaning house in both the Minnesota Senate and House in 2012. First it was about balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class, while leaving the richest among us untouched. Now it’s about writing discrimination into our state Constitution. Where will it end? It has to end with a denial of passage for this wrong amendment, and voting out the members of the legislature that have hurt this state so very much. Rep. Gottwalt, of St. Cloud, should be especially ashamed of himself for introducing and supporting this negative bill so wholeheartedly.

  56. Getoverit says:

    My only problem now is the stupid commericals for or against this will bumbard my TV, I get enough of commericals and political ads as it is during the elections. I don’t want more, I don’t care what people do because we all will stand before God when the time comes. Just don’t jam this stuff down my throat like the rest of the the politicians do.

  57. mnsotamama says:

    I am not gay but I think it is a fundamental right for all to be given the same human rights whether gay or heterosexual. There needs to be a separation from church and state. Instead of spending so much time as “haters” why not put that energy into something more positive. Isn’t this country founded on diversity? Can’t we all just allow others to live their best life possible in whatever form that takes as long as it doesnt hurt others? Live and Let Live.

  58. JUSTFEDUP says:

    Great for me I don’t care who does what, I just don’t want it jammed down my throat one way or another. We all will stand before God and be judged. It is not my place to judge others but I better not be bombarded with commericals from either side come the election year like I am with those other ads. I am neither dem or rep I wish we would vote them out and start over.

  59. tom says:

    Marriage is between a man and a woman only, Not between 2 “men” or 2 “women” if thats what they want to call themselves, I personally call it sick, twisted and depraved, againt all morals.

  60. M B says:

    “This is not about hatred. It is not about discrimination or intolerance,” said Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud.”

    Total unequivocally blatant lies. If this is not about that, then why are we even discussing it? If you don’t want to deny someones rights based on their orientation (the exact definition of discrimination) then why the ban at all?

    Liars. Noting but a bunch of self-serving people trying to ram their religious beliefs on the rest of the populous for the sake of ramming through their agenda while they politically can.

    I hope the people of MN vote this down with a vengeance, and remove these people from office as well.

  61. mn1968 says:

    Genocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The process is not linear. Logically, later stages must be preceded by earlier stages. But all stages continue to operate throughout the process.

    1. CLASSIFICATION: All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such as Rwanda and Burundi, are the most likely to have genocide. The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions, that actively promote tolerance and understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend the divisions. The Catholic church could have played this role in Rwanda, had it not been riven by the same ethnic cleavages as Rwandan society. Promotion of a common language in countries like Tanzania has also promoted transcendent national identity. This search for common ground is vital to early prevention of genocide.

    2. SYMBOLIZATION: We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people “Jews” or “Gypsies”, or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply the symbols to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to the next stage, dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for people from the Eastern Zone in Khmer Rouge Cambodia. To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden (swastikas) as can hate speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can be outlawed, as well. The problem is that legal limitations will fail if unsupported by popular cultural enforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden words in Burundi until the 1980’s, code-words replaced them. If widely supported, however, denial of symbolization can be powerful, as it was in Bulgaria, where the government refused to supply enough yellow badges and at least eighty percent of Jews did not wear them, depriving the yellow star of its significance as a Nazi symbol for Jews.

    3. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder. At this stage, hate propaganda in print and on hate radios is used to vilify the victim group. In combating this dehumanization, incitement to genocide should not be confused with protected speech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional protection for countervailing speech, and should be treated differently than democracies. Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen. Hate radio stations should be shut down, and hate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly punished.

    4. ORGANIZATION: Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility (the Janjaweed in Darfur.) Sometimes organization is informal (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants) or decentralized (terrorist groups.) Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings. To combat this stage, membership in these militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should be denied visas for foreign travel. The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations, as was done in post-genocide Rwanda.

    5. POLARIZATION: Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the center. Moderates from the perpetrators’ own group are most able to stop genocide, so are the first to be arrested and killed. Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups. Assets of extremists may be seized, and visas for international travel denied to them. Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.

    6. PREPARATION: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is expropriated. They are often segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If the political will of the great powers, regional alliances, or the U.N. Security Council can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to prepare for its self-defense. Otherwise, at least humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees to come.

    7. EXTERMINATION begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” It is “extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide (as in Burundi). At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection. (An unsafe “safe” area is worse than none at all.) The U.N. Standing High Readiness Brigade, EU Rapid Response Force, or regional forces — should be authorized to act by the U.N. Security Council if the genocide is small. For larger interventions, a multilateral force authorized by the U.N. should intervene. If the U.N. is paralyzed, regional alliances must act. It is time to recognize that the international responsibility to protect transcends the narrow interests of individual nation states. If strong nations will not provide troops to intervene directly, they should provide the airlift, equipment, and financial means necessary for regional states to intervene.

    8. DENIAL is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile. There they remain with impunity, like Pol Pot or Idi Amin, unless they are captured and a tribunal is established to try them. The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts. There the evidence can be heard, and the perpetrators punished. Tribunals like the Yugoslav or Rwanda Tribunals, or an international tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or an International Criminal Court may not deter the worst genocidal killers. But with the political will to arrest and prosecute them, some may be brought to justice.

    1. Hawkman says:

      Thanks for putting this explanation in here. That’s what I wanted to say, but less eloquently. Of course, whether any of the “true believing bible thumpers” will have sufficient capacity of reason to understand this, is at least diubtful.

  62. KJ says:

    Honestly why can’t people learn from mistakes that were made in the past. Denying women to vote, slavery, and anything else that has to do with human separation. I’ve never understood why after all these years people just don’t get it. We are all human with qualities that make us unique and amazing. Please vote for gay marriage to be allowed in Minnesota. I want to live in a state that can look past others differences and be a place where people aren’t suffocated by who they are when it’s not hurting anyone. If God loves everyone, why can’t you?

  63. Andy says:

    Who’s idea was it tio have Bradlee Dean give the prayer?! This man is a hate filled biggot and a moron. Real smart GOP

  64. Kishandreth says:


    1. censor says:

      hey, where did Kishandreth go?

  65. stan says:

    i can’t believe we’re arguing about this. its ridiculous to believe people just can’t accept the choices of others. what have we come to as a society when people tell you you can’t love someone if they’re the same sex? and yes, i do think this is just another distraction from the real issues. also, i agree with all of the separation of church and state arguments. anything brought up about “blah blah, where does it say in the bible that a man can marry a man blah blah blah” is completely irrelevant. stop citing a two thousand year old story book as fact

  66. Incredulous1 says:

    What an incredible waste of time. This is what we vote these bozos into office for?

    Do the legislators who voted for this really give a rat’s ass about gay marriage or are they working overtime to get the conservative voters out to the polls next year?

  67. Amy says:

    Hamilton’s daughter has more sense than he does.

  68. jeff says:

    don’t be fooled by these people who suggest they are only concerned about marriage and the degredation of it. if they had their way all gays would be tortured and killed. the problem is when all of the undesireables are gone who will they have left to hate but themselves. christianity is nothing more than a utopian dream interpreted anyway one sees fit. oh btw way the world didn’t end. guess they got that one wrong. what else have the conservatives got wrong? gay marriage? nope they are pretty sure about that one.

  69. jeff says:

    i was with one of my gay friends the other day and some stright guy happened to be walking buy. (my frined is a flamer) so naturally he stuck his butt out at the straight guy and started to shake it. i looked and the straight guy was so repulsed he shook his head in disgust and kept on going. i looked at my friend and said, ” did it ever occur to you that what you just did might be a reason why someone would vote against gay marriage?” as gay people we have a responsibility in this as well. what we all can work on as individuals is to show people that we really aren’t that different from them. obviously there are people out that would just rather wipe us off the map but many people are “iffy” on the whole thing. i have many straight friends that have told me that before they met me they would have never voted for gay marriage. they had all kinds of ideas about gay people. after knowing my and talking they have found that i am really no different from them. it actually is an honor to me to be able to challange the thoughts of people and win them over by just being myself.

    1. Mike says:

      I agree. I wish more people would come out. When people realize they know and care about someone who is gay it’s much more difficult to deny them basic human rights. My family never would have supported gay marriage before I came out, and now they do because I helped them to understand.

    2. pat says:

      My daughter was in a theatre class and the guest teacher had everyone sit in a circle and tell one thing special about themselves. As the hour grew to a close the guest teacher didn’t let the other children finish telling what was special about them, he had to tell what was special about him, guess what he was special because he was gay. I personally don’t think that is so special.

  70. The Crux of the Biscuit says:

    Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    I reserve the right to marry whomever I wish thank you very much.

    1. paab says:

      and whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. ohoh says:

      You must belong to NAMBLAl, you want to marry anyone you wish, now it is little children?

  71. ben says:

    Honestly, when was the last time you “had it pushed” in your face. I can’t even remember the last time I saw two gay people kissing or holding hands, or if I have ever seen it. Sure I’m out and about and think, “that guy is probably gay.” But who cares? People act like if gay people get married straight people will be forced to watch them have sex with each other. Or once it’s legal then we’ll all eventually become gay. It is not a choice people. You don’t choose what you’re attracted to: black, white, man, woman,fat, tall, thin.
    Also, I am getting sick of the idea that the bible is fact. It’s a 2000 year old story. That’s it. This is what I take away from the bible: treat people how you want to be treated, and do right by your fellow man and your family. Don’t twist a generally good message into hate.

  72. Mrlayaround says:

    Blacks, hmong,somali, and gays. Ranking 1 thru 4 of most offensive things to be

  73. silly says:

    How dare anyone stand in the way of what I want to do!!!! It isn’t hurting anyone if I want to destroy 6,000 years of mankinds history and tradition. Just ask all the indiginous people who had their cultures destroyed by a few people who wouldn’t be denied what they wanted when they wanted. Soon as I can I am marrying my sister, my mom said no, but my sister, OK!! This will be so much fun making a mockery of marraige.

  74. pat says:

    Why is it one leaves a comment and it is posted in the middle of the comment thread?

  75. Please says:

    I want to be married so I feel like a better person when i push my partners dinner back up in him, Hmmm sounds very normal.

    1. Mike says:

      Yeah, since, you know, heterosexuals don’t have anal sex.

    2. K says:

      Please…good one. Are you like 12 years old?

  76. Just thinking says:

    First question someone should ask is: Where did marriage come from. Second question: What is the purpose of marriage THEN that someone will be able to intelligently answer: Who should marry.

    1. Major Goofball says:

      Where did marriage come from ? Good question ! The comedian’s answer must necessarily be: A boy monkey and a girl monkey in the jungle wanted to have baby monkeys. So they started their courtship and danced around like, uhm, monkeys. Then they wanted get down to business, the business of procreation. But exactly then a third monkey came by and started to interrupt their “business”, out of envy. So they had to give the third monkey some bananas, so he’d walk away and let them procreate in peace. In this version of natural history, the two monkeys were “legally married” when they gave the third monkey the bananas. The third monkey went on to develop into the current church and state authorities. Anyone have a better explanation ?

      It is a joke. It is to laugh. Ha!

  77. Southern MN Mom says:

    Gay marriage is already against the law in Minnesota and all other states but 6. This bill will let the people vote to continue the current prohibition on same sex marriage and include that ban in the MN Constitution. This would make this ban very, very difficult for high courts to overturn.

    When a bill reaches this point, odds overwhelming favor it will be approved when the voting takes place. I think there has been 19 votes brought to the people of MN in recent years by the MN State Legislator. 18 of the 19 have passed-

    The history of such votes in Minnesota since World War Two would suggest that those who support gay marriage have a long uphill fight to stop this.

  78. jeff says:

    did you know that you can marry your first cousin in about half of the u.s.? and gays are considered disgusting? hahahahahahahaha

  79. Lab says:

    There are so many other more important issues in this state that should be dealt with before we worry about whether or not Adam can marry Steve. For example, what can be done to get the Twins out of there batting slump??? I can’t wait to vote on this. Sorry Adam & Steve, even in this left wing liberal state, you won’t be pronounced husband and umm…..whatever.

  80. Tom says:

    It is a very sad day for the state of Minnesota. Those who were elected to make the tough decisions of governance cannot be counted on to do the job they were elected to do. Instead they shuffle it off to the ballot box and political expediency, and instead of a thoughtful vote it is left to emotional nightmare and half truth. Love and caring is NOT dictated by a vote. It is a matter for two committed people to make that decision.

  81. Allen says:

    It’s not a question of whether gay marriage will be allowed, it’s really a matter of when it will occur. In one recent Minnesota poll, the acceptance of gay marriage was much greater with the younger generation than it was with the older generation so it’s just a matter of time. That being said…gay marriage should be allowed sooner than later. The Republican legislators that stood up against the amendment were courageous and ahead of their time. The other Republican legislators are cowards and hid behind the “let the people vote” mantra. If you’re going to single out a group of our citizens to go after, have the guts to explain why you’re going after them. These citizens that the pro-amendment legislators have targeted are our teachers, doctors, students, clergy, police officers, national guard, etc. Could it be that these pro-amendment legislators are embarrassed to admit that they are acting on behalf of certain religious groups that act as if only they are privy to God’s word or that portray God as the Bogeyman whose “gonna getcha” if you don’t live your life to their specifications? How about if we let Minnesotans vote on the tax exempt status of these specific religious groups or would that be unfair to single them out from the other religious groups?

    1. Mike says:

      Really well-said. Obviously gay marriage will happen eventually. Even if it gets a temporary ban someday it will still be overturned when more and more of the younger generation that don’t hold this outdated belief are able to vote. You may as well stop fighting it, because someday everyone will be allowed the right to marry.

      I don’t think they’d like it very much if we were able to vote on their rights. So why should they be able to decide on ours? Especially when so many are terribly uneducated on the matter. Maybe do some actual unbiased research on the subject before you totally write off a group of people. Seriously. Read some books or something.

  82. Cecelia Thurman says:

    If people were more secure in who THEY are..they wouldn’t be so concerned with who others are…..or…..If they were getting enough at home..they would’t worry about what others are getting…hehehhehehe

  83. michelle says:

    It’s a mistake to let the many decide the rights of any minority. That’s why we have a government. Do you think we would have civil rights or women’s rights if it had been put to a vote like this? I think it’s wrong.

  84. DOMA says:

    This is not a gay marriage ban. It’s a defense of marriage amendment. Why is a small small percentage of our society so bent on turning everything upside down. Everyone can get married under the current definition…some are choosing not to conform to our common sense laws of society. If two same sex people want to be together that is their busines but that’s not marriage.

  85. Mr. M says:

    I hope this helps to clear things up on the issue.

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