What is the Minnesota Marriage Amendment?
- Minnesota Marriage Amendment Defined: SF 1308 is a bill passed by the Minnesota State
Legislature that seeks to deny the freedom to marry for all Minnesotans by
amending the state constitution to define marriage as only between “one man and
one woman.” The amendment will be placed on the November 2012 ballot, where it
needs a simple majority of votes to become part of the Minnesota State
Constitutional Amendment is Unnecessary: Same-sex marriage is
already prohibited by Minnesota law. The state legislature passed a law in 1997
limiting marriage to one man and one woman. Amending the MN state constitution
to ban same-sex marriages is unnecessary and a waste of resources. Amending the
state constitution will do nothing to change the current state of the law in
MN. Same-sex couples are unable to marry in MN today and they will continue to
be unable to marry regardless of whether or not the amendment passes in
Disapproval: On May 25, 2011, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton wrote
a letter to the President of the Minnesota State Senate condemning SF 1308.
Governor Dayton further expressed his disapproval of the measure when he
symbolically vetoed the bill.
How does the Amendment
hurt Minnesota’s families?
- MN is home to thousands of same-sex couples and their families: According to the 2010
Census, there are more than 13,700 same-sex couples living in MN. Of these
couples, at least 2,370 are raising approximately 4,740 children in the state.
If the marriage amendment passes, it would write discrimination into the MN
constitution, effectively telling these children that their families are not
valued, respected or protected.
- Denying same-sex couples in MN the freedom to marry leaves families
vulnerable: There are approximately four hundred state benefits available to
married couples in MN. A state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage denies these
families access to all of these protections including certain legal rights afforded married parents, access to
healthcare, bereavement and sick leave, and the ability to make medical and
other decisions on behalf of their loved ones. Same-sex couples are also denied
a number of economic benefits and protections, precipitating a poverty rate for
same-sex couples that is notably higher than the national average. Without
access to marriage, committed, loving same-sex couples are left without the
basic protections that other married couples take for granted.
- Marriage equality makes good business sense: MN currently faces a $5
billion deficit and will need to find ways to improve the competitiveness of
the state’s economy. The ability to recruit and retain the best and brightest
employees is critical to MN’s economic stability and growth. A highly public,
divisive and discriminatory ballot measure sends the message that not all
employee groups are welcome in MN – and will present challenges in attracting
the best employees.
- Marriage equality is good for the economy: States with marriage
equality have discovered these couples’ nuptials generate hundreds of new jobs
and tens of millions of dollars annually in spending and tax revenue. A Forbes
study projects a $16 billion growth in the wedding industry if the freedom to
marry for same-sex couples was available nationwide.
Public Opinion Is On
A majority of Minnesotans oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex
Current polls show that 55% of Minnesotans oppose a state constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriage, while only 39% favor amending the
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