ELECTION 2012: Minnesota Becomes First State to Reject “Traditional Marriage” Amendment

In Minnesota, by law, the right to marry is accorded only to heterosexual couples.  But for state Republicans who were also hoping to increase voter turnout in a presidential election year, a campaign to change the constitution to legally define marriage as only between a man and a woman has failed, both in turning out conservative voters or in making bigotry permanent in the state.

Minnesotans for Marriage, a front group of “traditional marriage” supporters mainly backed by the state’s Catholic churches, threw their full weight behind the effort (including church sponsored DVDs and illegal campaigning at some election sites). But they began to lose their momentum after one of the key architects of the amendment lost his job after he was found having an affair with the female Republican Speaker of the Senate, and then admitted the whole amendment effort was ploy for increased voter turnout. The issue became even more heated when Vikings punter Chris Kluwe threw his full support (and blog column power) into campaigning against the amendment.

Minnesota voters successfully rejected the amendment in a long, long night at the polls. The Yes vote lead for much of the night, as issues in Minneapolis polling districts left their votes not tabulated until after 1 a.m. But soon after results flooded in, and with over 99 percent of the vote counted the amendment failed to receive a majority vote.

That both a constitutional amendment defining marriage and a constitutional amendment requiring voter ID to cast a ballot is little shock after the state’s full results were known. Minnesota’s Republican party also lost control of the House and the Senate, both of which were won in the 2010 wave GOP election. Now, the state is returning to its solid blue roots.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact press@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty

  • rebellious-grrl

    I am so proud to be a Minnesotan! The “Vote No” campaign worked really hard on this issue and it paid off. Bigotry and homophobia have been defeated in Minnesota.

    This morning I listened to MN State Senator Scott Dibble talk about what the next steps are for marriage equality for all in MN. Sen. Dibble fought tooth and nail on this fight. I am really proud of him. Listening to him talk about the hope he has now for GLBT Minnesotans I teared up and cried tears of joy. Minnesota has gone back to its blue state liberal roots (despite Michele Bachman’s victory).

    Sen. Dibble on MPR http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/11/06/politics/elex-night-marriage-amendment/

    As an aside – Not only was the campaign by Minnesota for Marriage homophobic but sexist too. On their website they say, “But marriage is a special relationship reserved exclusively for heterosexual unions because only the intimate relationship between men and women has the ability to produce children as a result of that sexual union.” I thought, where does that leave me and my husband. We are childless by choice. There is no reproducing for us. Should my marriage be outlawed too? I got into a fight with a conservative wanker who said, “it’s unnatural” for me an my husband not to reproduce. Only a misogynistic, sexist pig would say that.

    Now MN needs to work on voting Michele Bachman out of office.

  • ack

    AZ voted down an anti-equality amendment in 2006. It passed in 2008, but it did fail first! (They made it about FLDS folks in round 2, pulled the language that would have banned civil unions, and quite frankly had a LOT more money than the equality side.) I’m not surprised everyone forgets that, since it eventually passed.


    But I couldn’t be prouder of MN, WA, ME, and MD!!! It’s only a matter of time…

  • ack

    I’m surprised he didn’t follow it up with, “But there are so many couples who can’t have children! How dare you not provide them with a baby, even though they could adopt one of the countless children in the foster system and choose not to!!!”

  • give-em-hell-mary

    I proudly voted for marriage equality in Maryland. ♥♥♥

  • namvet527


    I’d rather be a HOMPHOBE than a CHRISTOPHOBE. HOMOPHOBES are on the same side as JESUS aka GOD is. GOD HATES HOMOSEXUALITY too.

    You HOMOSEXUAL/SODOMITES are the biggest & most INTOLERANT BIGOTED HATEFUL HYPOCRITICAL DISPICABLE people in the history of earth. If we just disagree with you about HOMOSEXUALITY/SODOMY you all come out with the most INTOLERANT BIGOTED HATEFUL HYPOCRITICAL & DISPICABLE language anyone has ever heard. GOD nor I have anything against HOMOSEXUALS just HOMOSEXUALITY.

  • namvet527

    You HOMOSEXUALS are the most HATEFUL INTOLERANT HYPOCRITICAL full of SEXUAL PERVERSION & IMMORALITY. TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE is HISTORICALLY the ONLY FORM of marriage for human beings. You are SEXIST BIGOTS to want Michele Bachman out of office. I am a HOMOPHOBE and damn proud of it. That term does not have anything close to the affect that racist does. I am glad to be known as a HATER of HOMOSEXUALITY.

    QUIT trying to FORCE & BULLY others into accepting your PERVERTED & SICK & DEMENTED lifestyle on others.

  • jennifer-starr

    It’s a real shame that there is no cure for idiocy such as yours, namvet527.  Maybe someday you’ll grow up and learn to lay off the caps lock key. 

  • prochoiceferret



    Rating of anti-gay bigotry parody:


    Use of all-caps: B+ (You’ve got some long strings of all-caps there; you need to break those up with some lowercase, or else people just tend to skim over it. It’s like those sections in end-user licenses; who ever reads those?)

    Poor spelling: C (I found two instances of one misspelled word: “DISPICTABLE.” Anti-gay bigots tend to be uneducated, and it’s hard to see that when you spell most words correctly)

    Bible references: B- (Seriously? You mention Jesus, God, and “SODOMITE,” and completely forget about Gomorrah?)

    Use of epithets: D (It’s not “GOD HATES HOMOSEXUALITY,” it’s “GOD HATES FAGS.” You can’t not channel Fred Phelps if you’re going for the over-the-top Archie-Bunker-on-steroids performance!)


    Conclusion: Definite room for improvement. You do manage to make anti-gay bigots look like raving lunatics, but I would focus more on incorporating idioms and taglines from real-world bigots. It’ll give your routine a little more resonance, and be that much more effective at stigmatizing the anti-gay viewpoint.


    In sum, keep working on it, kid. And thanks for fighting the good fight!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    If the Creator hates gays so much, why did he/she/it/they design sexual reproduction throughout the animal kingdom that results in nearly every offspring being slightly, moderately or severely intersexed due to pre-natal chimerism of “opposite” sex twins, microchimerism from already born siblings, polyspermy resulting in XXY Klinefelter Syndrome “males” and forty-some other intersex syndromes?  I’ll bet you wouldn’t pass your own “pure gender” medical standards.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Face it you are a mean hateful person. Your hate speech is not welcome here!

  • Pingback: Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse… | Balanced Instability()