Three of Four Top Elected Minnesota Politicians Comment on the Marriage Debate

By John Townsend December 13, 2012

Categories: Featured - Home Page, Our Affairs, Politics

Lavender posed the following questions to four of the top elected politicians regarding GLBT Marriage Rights and 515 other laws negatively affecting the GLBT community.  Read their answers here.

Governor Mark Dayton
Since the GLBT community was instrumental in getting the Democratic Party elected into control of both Houses of the Legislature:
1.  On precisely what day are you going to tell the Democratic Leadership in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives that you will publicly encourage them to immediately pass a repeal of the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and that you will sign it immediately upon passage, if they vote to repeal it?

2.   After that, on precisely what day will you publicly encourage the Democratic Leadership in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives to pass a new law allowing for GLBT people to be married in the State of Minnesota?

3.   After that, on precisely what day will you publicly encourage the Democrat Leadership in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives to pass repeal of all 515 discriminatory laws currently on the books in the State?

Governor Dayton’s Press Secretary Katharine Tinucci responded on Thursday, November 29, with the following: “Thanks for the email. We are focused on preparing the governor’s budget proposal and tax reform proposal at this time.”Press Secretary Tinucci and Governor Dayton were then offered to have the deadline extended to Monday afternoon, December 3.  Press Secretary Tinucci responded on Friday, November 30: “I cannot imagine I will be able to answer your questions by Monday. If any of the things you ask about happen this month, I will be sure to let you know in advance.”
Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk
Since the GLBT community was instrumental in getting the Democratic Party elected into control of the Minnesota Senate:
1.   On precisely what day are you going to repeal the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Democratic-controlled Senate?

2.   After that, precisely on what day are you going to start drafting laws allowing for full and equal rights to the GLBT community with regard to marriage in the State of Minnesota?

3.  After that, on precisely what day are you going to start drafting laws removing the 515 laws currently on the books remaining which discriminate against the GLBT community in the State of Minnesota?

Senator Bakk responded:”Minnesotans clearly rejected an effort to put a narrow definition in our constitution, and they affirmed some very basic, widely shared values. As we look ahead to the many challenges facing the legislature in 2013, there are certain to be renewed discussions at the Capitol on marriage policy, as well as the wide range of statutes that fall short of recognizing all Minnesota families, regardless of how they are defined.”Bakk continues: “Ultimately, elected leaders look to their constituents to guide their legislative priorities, and the discussions occurring in communities across the state will shape the debate inside the Capitol. I look forward to working with the GLBT community and all Minnesotans ready to work together to build a better state for our kids and grandkids.”
Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives-designate Paul Thissen
Since the GLBT  vote was instrumental in getting the Democratic Party elected into control of the Minnesota House of Representatives:
1.  On precisely what day are you going to repeal the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives?

2.   After that, on precisely what day are you going to start drafting laws allowing for full and equal rights to the GLBT community with regard to marriage in the State of Minnesota?

3.  After that, on precisely what day are you going to start drafting laws removing the 515 laws currently on the books remaining which discriminate against the GLBT community in the State of Minnesota?

Representative Thissen responded:”The defeat of the constitutional amendment was amazing -a watershed moment in our state. The defeat would not have occurred without a long campaign focused on one-on-one conversations between Minnesotans about their notions of marriage, family, and equality. The ‘No’ vote meant that Minnesotans were not ready to stop that conversation cold. Our job is now to continue the conversation; a conversation that cannot happen only inside the walls of the State Capitol. I remain ultimately hopeful that those conversations will result in progress toward marriage equality.”
Minnesota House of Representatives Majority Leader-designate Erin Murphy
Since the GLBT vote was instrumental in getting the Democratic Party elected into control of the Minnesota House of Representatives:
1.   On precisely what day are you going to repeal the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives?

2.  After that, precisely on what day are you going to start drafting laws allowing for full and equal rights to the GLBT community with regard to marriage in the State of Minnesota?

3.   After that, on precisely what day are you going to start drafting laws for the 515 laws currently on the books remaining which discriminate against the GLBT community in the State of Minnesota?

Representative Murphy responded:”First of all, I was very happy with the result of the constitutional amendments on Election Day. What Minnesotans said is that we don’t want to stop having this conversation in our state about marriage and about equality. If the amendment had passed, that conversation would have ended.”Murphy continues: “It is important for this conversation to continue, not just in the walls of the State Capitol, but throughout the state. Legislators will be a part of that discussion and that means spending time with Minnesotans about their views on fairness, equality and the priorities for our state moving forward. I look forward to those conversations and our work ahead.”

Note: Please note that all respondents failed to answer the precise question put to them.

Contact Your Legislators
Governor Mark Dayton
Phone: (651) 201-3400
Email: http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/ (Web Contact Form)

Senator Tom Bakk
Phone: (651) 296-8881
Email: sen.tom.bakk@senate.mn

Representative Paul Thissen
Phone: (651) 296-5375
Email: rep.paul.thissen@house.mn

Representative Erin Murphy
Phone: (651) 296-5496
Email:  rep.erin.murphy@house.mn

See also: 
“The DFL’s Big Gay Farce” from Issue 457, November 29, 2012
“‘Earnest Money:’ Repeal DOMA Now” from Issue 458, December 13, 2012

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