November is marching ever closer. We have two noxious amendments on the ballot here in Minnesota, one requiring voter ID and one denying marriage equality. I am starting to be a little more hopeful that Minnesota might be the first state to defeat an amendment that enshrines a discriminatory definition of marriage in our constitution.
First, there were the good poll results in the wake of Obama’s support for marriage equality.
Public Policy Polling (PPP) today released results from its latest survey that showed 49 percent of Minnesotans oppose amending the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, while 43 percent support it. A January PPP poll showed 44 percent opposed amending the constitution, while 48 percent supported (-5 support; +5 oppose). This represents a 10-point swing in just four months. Meanwhile, 47 percent of Minnesotans said they believe that marriage for same-sex couples should be legal.
Then there are the resolutions from rural parts of the state condemning the amendment.
Leading the way on the Iron Range, the city council of Mountain Iron became the 11th city to vote to publicly oppose the proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the freedom to marry for committed, same-sex couples in Minnesota and the first to join the coalition comprising Minnesotans United for All Families, the official campaign to defeat the freedom-limiting amendment.
The council voted 3-to-1 to adopt the resolution, which states the proposed amendment is “contrary to the purpose of our State Constitution to protect the rights, privileges and freedom of conscience of all citizens” by excluding same-sex couples from the freedom to marry. The resolution urges Mountain Iron residents to vote no in November.
Poll numbers are good, and rural rejection of the amendment is critical, but of course that isn’t enough. People have to keep working on this if we’re going to defeat the amendment. A year or two from now? Sure, then we wouldn’t have to work so hard. That’s why the amendment is on the ballot now.
To help make sure the amended loses, Minnesotans United for All Families has adopted a new variation on their broader strategy. In addition to volunteers calling voters to tell them why it is so personally important to the volunteers that the amendment be defeated, they are asking Minnesotans who support marriage equality to take these conversations to their friends and family. And if these volunteers can talk to strangers, you can talk to your friends.
Sixty-seven percent of people with gay and lesbian friends VOTE NO if we talk to them about marriage.
This means that the single most important action you can take to defeat this hurtful amendment is to start conversations about the freedom to marry with your friends, family, and the people you see every day.
Even if you’re not gay or bisexual, you know people who are. Maybe they are your friends and colleagues. Maybe they’re too scared to tell you about their sexual orientation. Whatever the situation, you know people whose relationships this amendment would declare to be worth less than mine. As much as I think the world of mine, that’s just not right.
We need to have these conversations, now and into November. Won’t you pledge to have some of these conversations?