President Barack Obama’s campaign on Monday said it was opposed to a constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would prohibit same sex couples from getting married.
“While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” Kristin Sosanie, Obama’s Minnesota Communications Director, said in a statement. “That’s what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”
The statement is nearly identical to another statement by the Obama campaign regarding efforts in the New Hampshire legislature to repeal the state’s same sex marriage law. That effort ended unsuccessfully in late March.
Last year, the Minnesota legislature approved a constitutional amendment to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman, giving voters a chance to ratify the proposed amendment in 2012.
Same sex marriage is already banned by a statute passed by the state’s legislature in 1997 and upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The state does not recognize same sex civil unions, but some cities do have domestic partnership registries.
“The amendment does not represent the values Minnesotans hold dear – that marriage is about love and commitment, and that freedom means freedom for everyone,” Minnesotans United for All Families said in a statement. “We’re happy that President Obama and Minnesotans from all walks of life see this amendment for what it is – a government exclusion to a group of people simply because of who they are.”
Obama has said he personally thinks marriage is solely between a man and a women, but that his position on the issue was “evolving.” Last year, he directed the Department of Justice to no longer defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. Section 3 of the law defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman, and prohibited legally married same sex couples from receiving federal benefits.
Eric W. Dolan
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