Wednesday, November 07, 2012

MN Anti-Gay Prop 8 Copycat Measure Defeated!

In a historic win, Minnesota voters rejected a ballot measure modeled after California's Proposition 8 to insert a discriminatory ban on marriage equality into their state constitution on Tuesday. For the second time in 33 electoral contests about same-sex marriage (Arizona in 2006 being the first) voters chose the pro-gay position despite misleading (and dishonest) appeals to voters by the coalition of religious extremists and heterosexual supremacists who oppose marriage equality nationwide and in individual states.

Polling right before the election indicated that the measure was likely to fail and the final results indicated that the pre-election polls were generally accurate:
Results on Minnesota's Amendment 1: 1,507,189 NO 51% to 1,400,668 YES (48%)
The opponents to the measure outraised the proponents $11 million to $5 million. Another key feature of Minnesota's battle was that the Yes vote needed to outnumber the number of no votes cast for Amendment 1 and all other races. In other words, the Yes votes needed to be a majority of all the votes cast in the election, which is substantially higher bar than that which occurred in other electoral contests over marriage equality in other states.

It was a big night for progressive causes in Minnesota with not only the anti-gay marriage amendment failing but so did a voter identification amendment and Democrats took control of both houses of the legislature following two years of a rancorous and divisive Republican majority. With a Democratic governor in Mark Dayton who supports marriage equality,  as well as a Democratic legislature, Minnesota may become a new flashpoint for passage of state recognition of same-sex couples in the form of civil marriage or civil unions in the next two years.

Congratulations to the North Star State!

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