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Not imminent, but likely
March 13, 2013 8:47 AM   Subscribe

When the DFL retook the Senate and House in MN last November, amidst the defeat of a referendum to enshrine marriage as one man/one woman in the Minnesota Constitution, there was a lot of speculation what would happen next. Last night bills passed out of committees on both the MN House and Senate (party line votes of 10-7 and 5-3) that would ensure marriage equality for same sex couples. It is now expected to reach the floor after budget bills and votes are presented and voted on. Final passage, while probable, is not guaranteed as some rural DFLers (in the Senate especially) are likely to oppose the bill. There is conversely, at least on Republican Senator, Branden Petersen, co-sponsoring the marriage equality measures). The DFL Gov (Mark Dayton) has indicated he would sign the measure if it reached his desk. Marriage equality could well come to Minnesota by August of 2013
posted by edgeways (55 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
The debates on this bill brought out this bit of testimony which - well, I'll let the conservative speak for himself.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:52 AM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've been half-avoiding and half-devouring the news about this. I want to know about what's going on, but I also don't want to get my hopes up and then suffer the disappointment and hopelessness if it fails.
posted by kavasa at 8:54 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


If this actually happens, I think the post mortem will be interesting. Because it really wasn't obvious in November that marriage was any more imminent than than it was a year ago (or whenever). We've been 'pursuing the legislative option' for the five years I've been living in Minnesota and until the last few months that was never presented as something that was going to work in anything approaching the short term. I read something recently about why there seems to have been this switch from saying marriage isn't imminent (which is what the relevant people were saying the day after the election) to now, but I'm not sure anyone really knows how that happened.
posted by hoyland at 8:57 AM on March 13, 2013


First the Vikings beat the Packers, and now this?

Ashamed to be from Wisconsin.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:08 AM on March 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


The debates on this bill brought out this bit of testimony yt which - well, I'll let the conservative speak for himself.

For those who don't want to click: He spends his two minutes talking about how allowing gay marriage means that gay people will have sex and that sex is sodomy and sodomy causes AIDS and this is very bad for society, thank you and vote against gay marriage.

I am not making this up.
posted by rtha at 9:09 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


hoyland, I think the alignment is what has happened. We had a Republican Gov (who wanted to run for Prez even) with a DFL legislature. Automatic veto of anything the DFL put forth. Then we had a switch, DFL Gov who indicated his support for the issue, but a R legislature who had their own disastrous agenda. Now it's DFL/DFL and while there was always talk of... wellll we'll get to it, just not anytime soon (keep in mind the Senate majority leader, Bakk, is from a very rural, NE, part of the state), it is quite likely the turnout the amendments provided also is what the DFL rode to election victory. Putting the issue into the second year of the session would just make everything so fresh in the minds of conservative voters. Do it now, and people have a year and a half for society to NOT collapse and make it, well, normal. Less flack for incumbents and they achieve something on the plates of many DFLers.

If Dayton had had a DFL majority when he was elected I suspect MN would have already gone down this path.
posted by edgeways at 9:10 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yesterday I heard the Minn Public Radio interview with Branden Petersen that's linked in the post. He doesn't represent me in the state legislature, but if he did he might be the first Republican I'd ever vote for, just as a tip of the cap for the stand he's making.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:21 AM on March 13, 2013


My theory of how this went down is quite simple:
I don't think this was imminent thing to happen after the vote last November, but then the conservative population in MN kept yelling at the top of their lungs, and I paraphrase, "don't take the no vote on the constitutional change to mean that we want gay marriage legal in MN!". They just couldn't stop spewing hate on a weekly basis. Constantly reminding people of the issue in the news EVERY DAMN WEEK.

It's like they wanted to keep showing how full of hate they were, so they kept reminding the people on the other side of the issue (Dems and supporters of gay marriage) how this really is unfair ("you know what, we weren't going to push the issue in a Dem controlled gov't because it would seem like we were just lashing out, but fuck it let's do this"). The GOP brought it on themselves, and I'm so happy to see this happen.
posted by zombieApoc at 9:23 AM on March 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


The debates on this bill brought out this bit of testimony which - well, I'll let the conservative speak for himself.

It's stunning/scary that a grown man can stand there and deliver that reasoning in such utter earnestness.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:28 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


allowing gay marriage means that gay people will have sex

I love how he genuinely seems to be working from the argument that there's no sex without marriage ("the thing about marriage is that people do have sex"). Like if Teh Gays get married, now they'll finally be able to have all the horrifying sodomy sexy sex they've been prevented from engaging in all this time.
posted by scody at 9:29 AM on March 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


And yes, the video, or just the transcript from it, is HILARIOUS! He goes into huge detail describing exactly what sodomy is.

I saw someone yesterday post something along the lines of "funny how he describes the exact activity many priests in the catholic church have subjecting little boys to for decades"
posted by zombieApoc at 9:30 AM on March 13, 2013


I love this clip posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt. He's so interested in what the gay boys might do if they got married (which apparently they aren't doing now because they're all saving themselves for marriage??) that he might as well say that he's all for lesbians--cuz they're not ejaculating sperm anywhere.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:31 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can still freak myself out thinking about what it's like in the alternate universe where Dayton lost in 2010 (and that was a cloooooose motherfucking election). Like, not that he's perfect (fuck the Vikings and their stadium), but over in Earth-Emmer they're sure as hell not closing in on legalizing gay marriage.
posted by COBRA! at 9:31 AM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like how he talks to the audience like they're all idiots, as if he is the only one who knows these facts and made these connections. It's like he's thinking, "If only the people had this information, then they would see what a horrible idea this is!"

I wonder if thinks everyone else is that dumb/ignorant because he is that dumb/ignorant and assumes that everyone else is only as smart as him. Then I wonder what other sorts of things he doesn't understand or is ignorant of and I wonder how many people are just like him. Then I get sad and a little scared.
posted by VTX at 9:35 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


difference of a few thousand votes puts us in Sen Coleman + Gov Emmer territory
posted by edgeways at 9:35 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Like if Teh Gays get married, now they'll finally be able to have all the horrifying sodomy sexy sex they've been prevented from engaging in all this time."

TRUE LOVE WAITS

(Within 15 years, we'll have LGBT kids with promise rings and they will be dumb and earnest.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:40 AM on March 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


For those who don't want to click: He spends his two minutes talking about how allowing gay marriage means that gay people will have sex and that sex is sodomy and sodomy causes AIDS and this is very bad for society, thank you and vote against gay marriage.

I am not making this up.



Also, there is a reptilian priest sitting behind him, glaring blankly as he earnestly describes "what sodomy is, is" in luridly graphic detail.

It would be funny if a non-zero number of people hadn't actually voted for this man to represent them in real grown up government type ways.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:43 AM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


difference of a few thousand votes puts us in Sen Coleman + Gov Emmer territory

for the glass half-empty people:

difference of a few thousand votes puts us in Representative Graves/no more Michelle Bachmann territory.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:46 AM on March 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've been holding my breath all session, thinking "maybe dreams really can come true."
posted by nickmark at 9:49 AM on March 13, 2013


In counter point to the "sperm in buttz makes the AIDZ" moron, here's a former MN rep deploring her own DOMA vote in 2002. Really wonderful stuff.
posted by notsnot at 9:56 AM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Not to be all "look at this asshole" (pun not intended)...but look at this asshole.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:04 AM on March 13, 2013


I thought the stark differences by demographics in this recent Star Tribune poll were interesting- like WTF is wrong with 50-64 year olds- 68% against? I would really have thought Boomers would have been a little more open minded.
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 10:06 AM on March 13, 2013


This really gained momentum quickly - I wonder if any action would have been taken if that referendum had never been introduced. The "Vote No" campaign was very visible and energetic during the election, and I think that GLBT allies had no choice but to put forth a serious GOTV effort, and that also inspired local political activism in a way that national campaigns (like Obama's) do not.

Are there other Republicans out there that are supporting this? I hope they are receiving support and encouragement!
posted by antonymous at 10:08 AM on March 13, 2013


It would be funny if a non-zero number of people hadn't actually voted for this man to represent them in real grown up government type ways.

I don't think he's a representative. Just a concerned member of the public (and a husband and father, so obviously very credible) testifying before the committee. Basically the random nut who shows up at the city council meeting.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:11 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's amazing how quickly this is going from an issue Republicans used to get out their voters, to gay marriage becoming accepted. It's still no happening fast enough, but public opinion is definitely moving that way.
posted by drezdn at 10:17 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well that's funnier, then.



Not to be all "look at this asshole" (pun not intended)...but look at this asshole.



It's never an actual real asshole. *kicks can dejectedly*


And I was just thinking about those FOR SOME REASON
posted by louche mustachio at 10:18 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


In somewhat related news: Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Virginia Anti-Sodomy Law

Yes, this stuff still exists. But the dam has broken, and the crazies are being swept away.

It's never an actual real asshole. *kicks can dejectedly*

Try browsing Reddit. There's a person or people going into random popular threads posting pictures of their(?) asshole. At first, everybody was all "Dude, WTF," but now everybody's just disappointed if they miss a picture of it and proud once they get a look.

So, yeah.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:21 AM on March 13, 2013


WTF is wrong with 50-64 year olds- 68% against?

Demographically, Minnesota shares the same dynamic as the rest of the nation on the marriage equality issue. The younger you are, the more likely you are wondering why this is even an issue. As long as that demographic trend continues as the next generation moves into voting age, it's 100% not a question of if but when*.

Same goes for legalizing marijuana.

* which is why I'm so pleased that this is hitting the MN legislature now, because...well because up yours, bigots.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:36 AM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are there other Republicans out there that are supporting this? I hope they are receiving support and encouragement!

Prominent Republican, Wheelock Whitney
posted by young sister beacon at 10:44 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


That guy who is oddly obsessed with sodomy is a baptist pastor from Waconia, MN. City Pages has some information here.

For a more uplifting bit of testimony, look at what former Republic Rep. Lynne Osterman said. She broke down in tears expressing her regret for having voted for Minnesota's DOMA and urged he former colleagues not to make the same mistake.
posted by Area Man at 10:50 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


As for why this push is happening, now I think it is more than just DFL majorities in the legislature and a DFL governor. I really think the failed effort to amend the state constitution and the campaign against that amendment pushed Minnesota forward a few years. Undoubtedly, Sen. John Marty would have introduced a bill this session, as he does every session, but it wouldn't have gotten traction without the failure of the amendment.

I'm not sure about passage. The press says its close, particularly in the Senate, but I keep hearing through back channels that the organizers are fairly confident based on things said in closed-door caucus meetings that they have the votes. If it does pass, I believe it will stick. We'll have some time before the next election for people to get used to it and Dayton, who is popular and a currently good prospect for re-election, would veto a repeal effort.
posted by Area Man at 10:56 AM on March 13, 2013


It's amazing how quickly this is going from an issue Republicans used to get out their voters, to gay marriage becoming accepted.

Well, yeah. That's usually why conservatives freak out about something -- it's on the cusp of being accepted, and they think that threatens their way of life. It's tough to tell that sometimes from in the trenches, but their fear of progress is a better metric of the world improving than our sense of accomplishment (look at any given political thread for proof of that).

I can't wait to see what conservatives will loose their shit over after gay marriage and immigration, because that's probably the next victory progressives will score.
posted by Amanojaku at 11:07 AM on March 13, 2013


I keep hearing through back channels that the organizers are fairly confident based on things said in closed-door caucus meetings that they have the votes

That is actually my sense/what I've heard informally as well. But I tried not to include too much of that in the FPP as I couldn't find anything 'in print' to link to.
posted by edgeways at 11:13 AM on March 13, 2013


The younger you are, the more likely you are wondering why this is even an issue.

I agree with you... and yet:
Grace Evans, 11, of Fridley told House committee members that changing the law would take away something important.

"Since every child needs a mom and a dad to be born, I don't think we can change that children need a mom and a dad," Evans said. "I believe God made it that way. I know some disagree, but I want to ask you this question: which parent do I not need, my mom or my dad?"
Sigh. Even if this passes, it's going to take a while.
posted by nickmark at 11:19 AM on March 13, 2013


Because an 11-year-old totally has an opinion completely divorced from what her parents have been ramming down her throat since birth. Give her another ten years and then we'll talk.
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:25 AM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Allan Spear, who died in 2008, served in the Minnesota Senate from 1972 to 2000. He was the President of the Senate for the last 8 of those years. He publicly came out in 1974 on the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune. Spear was only the second openly gay state legislator in the U.S. This was even before Harvey Milk was elected as a Supervisor in San Francisco. He was that brave. One of Spear's proudest legislative accomplishment was the 1993 amendments to the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which protected not only gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, but also transgender people. It was the first such law in the country. (I'm a former constituent. I only got one chance to vote for him, but I was proud to do so.)

I say all of that so that you can understand why I find the following bit from a Minnpost story particularly poignant. The Marty in question is State Senator John Marty, son of theologian Martin Marty and a persistent legislative supporter of GLBT rights.

“One of my last conversations with Allan was about this (marriage),’’ Marty said. “It was the year he died (2008). He said ‘We’re not going to get marriage equality.’ He thought we should fight for civil unions. I said, ‘separate is not equal and you know it.’ I think back to that time. Things have changed that much, that fast.’’

Think about that, five years ago Allan Spear was ready to give up. Only five years have passed and now it seems like gay marriage might be legal in Minnesota by August (most new Minnesota statutes take effect on August 1.)
posted by Area Man at 11:34 AM on March 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


As a native Minnesotan: Thank God, at last. It's time. The time is long past due.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:39 AM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Minnesota; nice.
posted by Lemurrhea at 11:57 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really think the constitutional amendment was the turning point, although it was just another in a long series of milestones. The more the issue gets debated, the more individuals, one at a time, have that moment where they actually think about the issue. I know I had my moment like that, although it was more like 10 years ago.

I remember my initial response to the idea of same-sex marriage was resistance, even though I couldn't quite express why. Not being able to explain my resistance made me think about it long enough to realize there was no rational defense, so I changed my stance. Even so, it took me a while to go from acceptance to support.

I know I'm just one data point, but I imagine a lot of people have gone through a similar process in the last decade, and the more people discuss same-sex marriage, the more people will have a lucid moment and realize what is right.

Of course, there are some who are so filled with anger and hatred of others that they'll likely never change, but hey, they wanted a referendum and they got one. Fuck 'em.
posted by Ickster at 12:11 PM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Grace Evans, 11, of Fridley told House committee members that changing the law would take away something important
...
Sigh. Even if this passes, it's going to take a while.


My own Minneapolis-based daughters, ages 8 and 9, have fully legalized same sex marriage when playing the Game of Life around the dining room table. I am not making this up.

By my scientific analysis this means we would likely defeat the young Grace Evans in a 3 kid vote on marriage equity by a vote of 2 to 1.

Times they are a changin'.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:59 PM on March 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Grace Evans, 11, of Fridley told House committee members that changing the law would take away something important.

"Since every child needs a mom and a dad to be born, I don't think we can change that children need a mom and a dad," Evans said. "I believe God made it that way. I know some disagree, but I want to ask you this question: which parent do I not need, my mom or my dad?"


Imagine, little Gracie, if your dad was still your dad, and your mom was still your mom, and they were exactly the same people (personality-wise, anyway) as they are now except their wee-wees looked pretty much the same as each other's. Maybe you would look a little more like one of them than the other one, but that's probably true anyway. Why do you care so much about your parent's wee-wees anyway?
posted by zinful at 1:03 PM on March 13, 2013


My Minneapolitan daughters are 8 and 10 and think it's absurd that anyone would be against marriage equality. It's not like we indoctrinated them this way, but we didn't indoctrinate them the other way, and several of their friends have same sex parents, and it seems totally obvious to them that there's nothing wrong with it. Which makes me sad for little Grace of Fridley, who has been taught so wrongly.
posted by padraigin at 1:15 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


By allowing them to be friends with the spawn of satan you _were_ indoctrinating them though. You need to start homeschooling those kids so you can deprogram them STAT.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:21 PM on March 13, 2013


Oh man, if I homeschooled them there's no end to the evils they'd absorb.
posted by padraigin at 1:24 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


My kids also have friends with same-sex parents and they just don't understand why anyone would be bothered. They wanted everyone to "Vote No," but couldn't understand why it was even an issue.
posted by Area Man at 1:33 PM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


How come the Religious guy is testifying? Is this standard in the USA? i don't think we have it in the UK.

He talks about women having a "barrier" in their vagina. Seriously, he thinks this, or is he just covering his religious nuttery with mumbo-jumbo bullshit? This is some old BS from years ago too. Christ, what an asshole is perfectly accurate in this case.

Good luck on the vote (whichever way is right - I can never work out in American politics posts about voting issues whether a yes vote would be good or a no vote would be good.)
posted by marienbad at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


How come the Religious guy is testifying? Is this standard in the USA? i don't think we have it in the UK.

When a state legislative committee is considering a bill, they'll often let interested people show up and offer brief statements in support or opposition. The Minnesota House and Senate civil law committees both set aside some time yesterday for that to happen. I think each speaker was given something like 2 minutes.

I think that guy really is that ignorant. His undergraduate and graduate (!) degrees are from Crown College of the Bible. I've never heard of the institution, but the name does not inspire confidence.
posted by Area Man at 1:48 PM on March 13, 2013


I rather enjoy the signs at the hearing but I must admit that I don't understand. "Don't Lie to Children" signs are interesting but I don't quite get what they mean.

And what about the sign that says 7-9x more kids will die if homosexuality is legal? Good grief! When did they criminalize it again?

Is this sort of thing covered in this thread?
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:18 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pogo_Fuzzybutt: "The debates on this bill brought out this bit of testimony which - well, I'll let the conservative speak for himself."

What? WHAT? Accumulation of egg barrier defeating enzymes causes AIDS???

He uses "boils" -- dog-whistle politics ... Any true Christian child knows that God let Satan give Job boils as a test... Who the fuck talks about "boils"?

My lord, all the disease costs. Thank god we don't as a society enculture all sorts of things that proliferate dangerous diseases like eating meat, and trying to stop limits to pollution pollution and a whole shit ton of other stuff... Oh sorry - I meant "Republicans" not "we as a society".

Also? Buttsex is dirty.

Also also? Eponysterical.
posted by symbioid at 2:23 PM on March 13, 2013


Wow, that testimony from Lynne Osterman is really amazing.
posted by threeants at 4:27 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I heard a snippet of Lynne Osterman's testimony on the radio yesterday on my way home from work, and I had to look up the full video. You can tell she is just wracked by guilt over her previous DOMA vote. "Voting 'No' today, this session, might seem politically expedient, but I can tell you from experience that you will have to live knowing that a 'No' vote is not fair. It's not respectful, and it's not equal." I hope she knows she wasn't the only one tearing up during her speech. For someone to go against their party, and to publicly acknowledge that they were wrong in the past... It just gives me hope.
posted by vytae at 4:45 PM on March 13, 2013


I can never work out in American politics posts about voting issues whether a yes vote would be good or a no vote would be good.

That's often the intent. If the wording is overly complex, many voters may just skip that part of the ballot. Or it could be misleading/counterintuitive enough to make voters think they are voting one way when they are in fact voting the opposite way.
posted by young sister beacon at 5:22 PM on March 13, 2013


Minnesota: where the men are married, the women are engaged, and all the children don't care.
posted by onesidys at 5:45 PM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sir, lay the Internet down slowly. There are Internets pointed at you as we speak. People want to talk to you that can help. Just lay the Internet down! We can talk to real people. Do you like Juicy Fruit?
posted by breadbox at 2:36 PM on March 14, 2013


"For years, [the right] said gays were too libidinous and licentious to create stable marriages. Now, as proponents of gay marriage emphasize love, fidelity, and commitment, the right is fetishizing coitus."
posted by scody at 2:19 PM on March 22, 2013


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