I wonder who writes the summaries for the front pages of the New York Times website. I pulled up this new diary because when I got to the US page I read this:
Gov. Mark Dayton says he will sign a bill making Minnesota the 12th state to permit same-sex marriage and the first in the Midwest to do it without a court forcing it to.I get to the article, and there's really nothing of the sort in it.
And now that Gov. Mark Dayton has signed the bill the legislature sent him, we can sit back and listen to the whining of the people who don't want things to change. I normally don't do this, but now that we are under some pressure to explain why this diary is not going to be about the more and better Democrats who made this happen, I should observe that this is to prepare for the ways that opposition to marriage equality will undoubtedly play a part in the 2014 elections and to identify our opponents and the tropes and memes they are trying out now for use then.
There seem to have been several different reactions. In Minnesota, the opponents of marriage equality first tried to load up the bill with a number of amendments that would not only have substantially gutted the state's current civil rights laws by creating -- yes -- special rights that would excuse professing believers from having to observe them, but that also contained an "inseverability" clause that would throw out the entire bill if the amendments were declared unconstitutional. A poison pill. When that failed and the bill received the support of a majority of the Senate (37-30, three rural Democrats voting no, one Republican voting yes), the opponents of the bill fell back on this "reasoning":
Opponents of the bill have repeatedly said that Minnesotans were lied to last year during the campaign against the constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage. They were told, they claimed, that nothing would change if the amendment didn’t pass. “Do they feel betrayed today? Absolutely. Do they feel lied to? Yeah,” said Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake.Why is this specious? Nothing DID change when the state constitution wasn't amended. What changed is that the "no" campaign brought enough people to the polls last November to elect Democratic majorities in both houses of the Minnesota legislature. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has a nice graphic on the distribution of votes in both the House and the Senate by district.
So that's Minnesota. What did the "professional" bigots have to say about this? Well, Zack Ford at Think Progress reports that Minnesota for Marriage (one man, one woman) said Tuesday was "a sad day" for the state:
Today is an historic and sad day for the state of Minnesota. As a result of years of campaigning by gay “marriage” activists awaiting a time when DFL leadership in the Minnesota legislature and governorship would be ready to champion their cause (contrary to the will of Minnesotans), the Minnesota Senate joined the Minnesota House of Representatives in passing the same-sex “marriage” bill. This bill not only upends our most foundational institution of marriage, redefining it as genderless and declaring mothers and fathers as “neutral” in Minnesota—it also fails to protect the most basic religious liberty rights of those who believe based on their faith that marriage can only be the union of one man and one woman.Now we are being told that redefining marriage poses no threat to religious liberty—that “everything will be ok”—and again, we argue that this is false. Over one million Minnesotans will be forced to either affirm what they believe to be false or subject themselves to prosecution and insult as “bigots” and “criminals” (Zach's emphasis and mine) under our law with the passage of this bill. Minnesota will be discovering the unintended consequences and sentencing more and more people of faith to prosecution under our laws for years to come as a result of this decision made by a few today.Yep! "Christians" as victims again. I really wonder what Dana Carvey would make of this.
Think Progress also provides a nice link to the National Organization for Marriage blog. The headline is, well, priceless:
National Organization for Marriage Condemns Minnesota Legislature for Redefining MarriageThere's that word "redefining" again. And Brian Brown continues threatening the DFL majority for imposing this "genderless" marriage on Minnesota and predicting that in 2014 the DFL majority in the Minnesota House will disappear. That would be the Big Bad Wolf strategy. He goes on:
"The people of Minnesota did not vote for gay marriage in 2012,” said Brown. “They voted to maintain traditional marriage by maintaining the status quo. Our opponents bought a victory by claiming that marriage was not under threat of redefinition, but in fact they always intended to redefine it at the soonest possible moment. Legislators who voted to redefine marriage were foolish to do so. They cast a terrible vote that damages society, tells children they don’t deserve a mother and a father, and brands supporters of traditional marriage as bigots. We predict that this vote will be career ending for many legislators in Minnesota."And what happened, Brian? You spent all this money and the people opposing you spent more. Again, no understanding that the 2012 election was a watershed year for marriage equality, and that whatever you spent, Brian, brought more DFL voters to the polls than you expected. The Karl Rove of the single issue campaigns. That's Brian Brown.
NOM was the largest funder of the marriage amendment campaign in 2012.
But that's not all. From Jeremy Hooper by way of Joe Jervis, this frantic email request from the American Family Association the day before the House voted:
Dear Praying Minnesotan, Please activate your prayer team NOW, and encourage your friends to come to the Capitol on Thursday! We are on the verge of having same-sex "marriage" legalized in Minnesota. Minnesota House leadership has announced that they will debate and vote on the bill to legalize same-sex "marriage" on Thursday, May 9, 2013. This means that House leadership is confident they have the votes to pass the bill. But, with your help and the help of your church, we still can defeat this assault on God's design for marriage.Take time off from work to go tell the members of the Minnesota legislature they should be as bigoted as you are. I mean, what do you do when you ask for divine intervention and the bill passes and gets signed into law anyway? Don't you have to punt??
To stop the redefinition of marriage in our state, the minds of 1 or 2 House members who've told leadership they'll vote Yes need to be changed. We are doing all we humanly can to change those minds, but that's not enough. It will require divine intervention. If a king's heart is "a stream of water in the hand of the Lord," to turn wherever He wills (Proverbs 21:1), then surely the hearts of MN state legislators can be turned according to His will also.
This is important enough to take time off from work or school to participate. This is your congregation's last chance to talk with Representatives before the vote, as well as to join other marriage supporters in prayer and public support. They can bring their own signs, as long as they are hand-held and not attached to a stick or anything else. In the name of Jesus and for the love of the gospel, we urge you to contact your Representative today and tomorrow and urge them to vote "NO" on the same-sex "marriage" bill.
Redefinition. Nothing is supposed to change. We'll huff and we'll puff and we'll blow you out of office. When do they concede it isn't working? The Mormons have, pretty much. I think we know how to defend against all this. Equality is better than inequality. Americans mostly know that. Stop in to my Top Comments diary Saturday night where I'll explain that the idea of marriage equality makes people happy.