In Minnesota, President Obama’s campaign opposes anti-gay amendment that denies “rights and benefits to same sex couples”
April 9, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
The president’s campaign for re-election is coming out in opposition to an attempt to put an anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota’s constitution, in what looks to be the administration’s new approach to discussing anti-gay ballot initiatives. Using language much like the statement released by the Obama campaign in opposition to Amendment 1 in North Carolina – and much stronger than previous statements referencing “divisive and discriminatory” laws but not addressing gays and lesbians – the campaign says:
“While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” said Kristen Sosanie, spokeswoman for the Obama for America – Minnesota campaign. “That’s what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”
As in North Carolina, state law in Minnesota already makes it illegal for gay and lesbian couples who are in love to be able to marry each other. The amendment is another in a long line of superfluous, animus-based attacks on gay and lesbian families meant to reclassify them as less valid than heterosexual relationships.
It’s good to see the administration address the problem with these amendments head on. The problem was never that laws or amendments of this sort are “divisive” or vaguely discriminate – they’re targeted at viciously attacking gay and lesbian families by placing in state constitutions the idea that one form of relationship and one sexual orientation is the only valid kind, and anyone else is inferior.
And the fact that the campaign has to keep noting that they can’t weigh in on every one of these initiatives says a lot in itself. This year the gay and lesbian community is fighting back against efforts to ban legal recognition of our relationships in some states and fighting to affirm them in other states. Even after releasing statements on North Carolina and Minnesota, there are still efforts in Maine and Maryland and Washington and New Jersey underway. When one law passes to affirm gay and lesbian relationships it always follows with immediate efforts to undermine the new law. It’s a concerted, long-term effort to deny gays and lesbians legal and societal acceptance and recognition.