The Independence Party of Minnesota is the latest political party in Minnesota to oppose a proposed ballot initiative that would write a ban on same-sex marriage into the Minnesota Constitution, and it’s the second party with major party status here to oppose the measure.
IP leaders released a video explaining their opposition to the amendment, and the chair of the party released a statement urging Minnesotans to vote “no” in November 2012. Already, the DFL and Libertarian Party have called on voters to reject the amendment, while the Green Party of Minnesota has long supported full marriage equality for same-sex couples.
IP chair Mark Jenkins cited the party’s platform: “We oppose having the government impose state-sponsored morality or values on people of good conscience with differing views.”
“This is why I oppose legislation or a constitutional amendment that puts any government imposed definition on a religious sacrament.”
The Independence Party, always seeking the middle ground, spelled out the reasons why the “radical right” and “liberal left” are not being reasonable on the issue of gay marriage.
“If we can focus our attention on the issues of civil rights instead of marriage, we may extend the rights all of our citizen’s deserve without threatening the sacrament of marriage,” wrote Jenkins. “I’m pretty optimistic that this could work. I hear that individual rights have a big following in conservative circles. If conservatives stay true to their beliefs, gays may just find conservative allies in the pursuit of their individual rights.”
Jenkins said, “I ask members of the Independence Party, and all Minnesotans, to oppose and work to defeat an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that outlaws same sex marriage.”
The party also put out a video opposing the amendment:
The DFL has come out against the amendment and the party’s chair, Ken Martin, released this video promising the DFL would fight the amendment “with everything we have.”
While the Green Party of Minnesota has not yet weighed in on the amendment, it has a meeting this weekend. Its platform has traditionally supported marriage equality for same-sex couples: “We support legalizing marriage for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons by applying the same standards, requirements, privileges, and responsibilities as applied to different-sexed couples.”
The Libertarian Party of Minnesota came out against the amendment during the heated debate in the legislative session.
“The proposed Gay Marriage Ban would expand government control and restrict the freedom of consenting adults to live their own lives as they choose. Libertarians believe that marriage is a private matter between individuals,” the party wrote. “We believe that marriage is a fundamental human right, and that all personal relationships, including marriage, should be at the sole discretion and agreement of the individuals involved, as well as any family, friends, or religious institutions they may choose to involve.”