How will same-sex marriage legislation fare at the Capitol?

After the Friday Roundtable wrapped, Kerri threw one more question at our guests:

How will same sex marriage legislation fare at the Capitol?

Larry Jacobs, Director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, said:

Pushing forward, gay marriage and passing it, is bad news for the Democrats. Because it’s going to create fissures within the Democratic Party. There were, for instance, conservative African-Americans who voted “no” on the constitutional amendment on civil rights grounds. But they are opposed to gay marriage. This is going to be a problem for the Democrats.

It also takes them off message. The message has been job growth. It’s been about bringing the budget into a stable, ongoing place. And this is going to bring them into the morass of these very intense, divisive social issues.

Dane Smith, President of Growth and Justice, said:

I’m a little more ambivalent than Larry on this one. I think there’s consensus that passing gay marriage or outright legalizing it will be a detriment for Democrats. On the other hand, I’m seeing Republicans beginning to cross over on the issue. I hear a lot of people comparing it to the movie Lincoln; about how the time is now and doing the right thing has to be done.

Mike Zipko, Vice President of Strategic Development at Goff Public, said:

One, there’s a significant misread of why “Vote No” went the way it did last time. A lot of it was a vote against the Republican party. Some of it was a vote against the Archbishop. And some of it was just a vote against screwing around with the constitution, and it wasn’t necessarily a vote for gay marriage.

So there is a misreading about what “Vote No” really meant.

The second part about it is, you get yourself into the same trouble that the Republicans were last time when they said, “Well, we’re going to solve Minnesota’s problems first.” Well, you are not solving Minnesota’s problems first, you’re going right back to a social issue, which allows you to flip that back around and come up with something divisive.

And the third part about this — which is kind of interesting — “Vote No” was very successful last time but, they were hungry the first time because they were playing defense. Playing offense is something very different. When you have to be for something, it’s a lot harder.

There’s a lot of greater Minnesota that still voted “yes” on that; that’s already there as a base. And so you can’t automatically translate all the “Vote No” votes in the Twin Cities to a “Vote Yes” on this.

Smith slipped in a last word:

Ten years from now it will be legal.