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.

  • Eric

    Does Mr. Zipko have any evidence for the claims he makes about why people voted no on the amendment? Doubt it. A majority of Minnesotans favor marriage equality, and oh by the way it’s the right thing to do. Why is this hard to understand?

  • MrE85

    “Pushing forward, gay marriage and passing it, is bad news for the Democrats…”
    The same could be said of civit rights legislation. It split the party and gave the South to the GOP. That said, it was still the right thing to do. Ten years is too long to wait, Mr. Smith. Justice delayed is justice denied.

  • I think it is going to pass, at this point I think the conservatives dems would face greater political backlash if they blocked it. And republicans are begging to understand that certain groups will never vote for them in equal numbers if they oppose those groups rights. Minnesota is ready for this, and yes, while I think people and both sides use marriage equality or lack there of to their political advantage, this really is an issue of right and wrong. Literally, all we are asking for is the same state recognitions as you. The same financial protections, and the same legal protections. Furthermore, equality in marriage has proven economic benefits, and definite social benefits. Plus, at the very least we can get this out of the way, because if it isn’t done by this legislature, it’ll be done by the next, or the one after that.

  • The Governor on same-sex marriage on The Daily Circuit today. He says that he doesn’t know exactly what the vote in November meant:

    “Some people may have just not wanted it to be in the Constitution. I don’t know how to sort that out.”

  • Sarah Marie James

    I think it is safe to say that most people don’t care if their neighbors, coworkers, and other community members are gay, straight, or identify otherwise; and most feel that marriage is not just between one man and one woman. Personally, I’m a bit disgusted by Larry Jacobs’ comments. Human rights is not taking the Democrats off their message. The message is human rights. Marriage equality is a human right and those who put money and budgets above human rights are morally corrupt. If the poeple are not equal in the eyes of the government, the government has no future. Basically, denying marriage equality is a violation of human rights, both Democrats and Republicans need to heed that if they want to stay in office.

  • I think it is very valid that people voted for a variety of reasons. I think the real triumph is that pro marriage vote no campaign was that it focused on talking to people and not just a pronouncement from upon high. I think equality will happen and it will be a big step forward. I recently married wife and dont think that our marriage is threatened one bit by our friends getting married. I think the best way to point out how sad and silly this ban is, is by asking the question “who is with me in banning those Lutherans from marrying, its a choice dont you know. I dont think kids are safe with them” I have never been able to choose who I found attractive. and dont understand people who think it is.

  • Michelle

    I think in many advances we have made, we have lost something in our overzealousness. Look at most family home life. Divorce rates are higher, modesty among women has decreased, and I feel that many men feel that they have less of a say because they may sound like a “pig” when they voice their opinion. Men don’t have a say much in the home life and family life. It’s been a womans job to be the matriarch of the family, not the co-head. Many men are treated as another child that the woman must take care of. In our efforts to gain respect we have stomped on our men manipulated, and abused them. All in the name of the “equal rights for women” Holy grail

  • michelle

    Whoops wrong window

  • Committed and upset

    The lady who lost here job because she didn’t qualify for family leave needs to marry the guy she been living with and raising a child with. What kind of half hearted effort and consideration is she giving to her child

    One other thing. Who authorized you and mpr to editorialize what is right? And where does your other guest get the authority to tell the rest of us whether the family structure we all know isn’t longer valid.