Saturday, May 28, 2011

Minnesota Governor Symbolically Vetoes Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton recently vetoed a proposed amendment to the Minnesota state constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. Even though Dayton, like many state governors, doesn't have any influence on what amendments are proposed to state constitutions, he received this proposed amendment in the form of a bill through a clerical error. And since his duty as governor requires him to either sign or veto all bills that come to his desk, he vetoed it as a symbolic gesture in support of marriage equality.

In a letter explaining his veto, he called the proposed amendment "divisive" and "un-American." He also makes a clear distinction between religious marriage, which is defined by each individual religion, and a civil marriage, which is defined by the appropriate body of government.

The proposed amendment will likely appear on the November 2012 general election ballot. Marriage equality supporters have already started talking that this very well could be the first state to vote down a marriage definition amendment. The cynic in me doubts that, when even fairly liberal states such as California and Maine have passed similar measures, but I can always hope for the best.

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