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Battle Lines Being Drawn in MN Over 2012 Vote on Gay Marriage Ban

August 16, 2011

ST. PAUL, Minn. - As the race for the 2012 GOP nomination for president heats up, the battle lines in Minnesota are now being drawn for a different vote next year. That will be a statewide ballot on whether to put what amounts to a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution.

Among the groups that have already come out in opposition to the constitutional amendment is the Minnesota AFL-CIO, whose board approved a resolution to that effect. President Shar Knutson says the issue speaks to the mission of the union.

"And that is really to improve the lives of working families, and to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our communities, our state. And we felt that this was one of those issues that we needed to weigh in on."

Knutson says passage of such a ban would end up being an embarrassment in the state's history books.

"We consider this to be discrimination, and we don't want discrimination to become part of our Minnesota Constitution."

The question Minnesotans will be asked in 2012 is whether marriage should be defined as a union between one man and one woman. Minnesota already has a law banning same-sex marriage, but supporters of the amendment say putting it in the state constitution would offer protection against what they call activist judges.

More information on the AFL-CIO's stance against the amendment is at bit.ly/q738g4

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN