For the past several months, the Minnesota Senate and House have been debating a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in our state. Even with a Republican controlled legislature, I thought that we were just too nice, too welcoming, too good of a state to actually move this issue onto the ballot. I was wrong.
Earlier this month, the Senate passed the bill on to the House. And last night, the Minnesota House passed the bill, 70-62. The vote was largely along party lines, with a few brave Republicans voting against the bill and two DFL members voting for the bill. In November, our state will vote either to protect civil rights for a minority or destroy them.
Even though we have much more pressing issues at hand as a state (state budget, education in K-12 and higher, etc.), what disappoints me most about this is that we could stand on the wrong side of history. I truly believe that in 30 years, we will look back upon this moment in history and think, “How could we have been so bigoted, so wrong-headed, to deny comfort and joy to law-abiding state citizens?” We will have moved past this issue and hopefully accept others for how they live and love, but this amendment will be a source of shame for us.
I have been thinking a lot about what my child will think of our state, in the light of this vote. If my child is gay or lesbian, he or she will want to move away from a state that denies him or her civil rights. If my child is straight, he or she will wonder how his or her parents’ and grandparents’ generation could have been so narrow-minded.
I hope that in November we will all come to our senses and vote against this offensive amendment.