In its DFL Dispatch – an email update to party activists – Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin said last week that the party will fight to stop a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage from passing in Minnesota. Some LGBT activists had been pressuring the party to make a bold statement in its communications about the issue. In the email, Martin said, “We will work hard to ensure that the GOP is not successful in their quest to write discrimination into our state constitution.”
A Change.org petition was created that urged the party to to get engaged in fighting a constitutional amendment, something the GOP has hinted they have planned for 2012.
“Please be clear about where the DFL Party stands on LGBT equality,” the petition asked. “Please express your concerns about the looming dangers to LGBT equality in Minnesota. Please call all DFLer’s in MN to become concerned and active for the equal rights of LGBT Minnesotan’s.”
Ken Martin, who was recently elected chair of the DFL, responded. Here’s the relevant part of the DFL Dispatch:
But we also have a lot of tough battles coming up-and not just to get our candidates elected. With the Republican majorities in the legislature, it’s very likely that the GOP will drive their partisan agenda next year by putting constitutional amendments on the ballot. And while Governor Dayton can stop any extreme bills that come to his desk, the right-wing majority can use constitutional amendments on the ballot to circumvent his veto pen. That means there’s a real looming danger for many Minnesotans – especially those in the LGBT community.
Let me be clear: the DFL Party has and always will be the Party that stands for equal rights. And we will work hard to ensure that the GOP is not successful in their quest to write discrimination into our state constitution.
We are the party that supports equality and fairness. We believe that every person in Minnesota should have the ability to marry the person they love. We believe every student should be safe at school, and have a healthy, respectful learning environment free of harassment and violence. We believe in ending discrimination based on sexual orientation (and also based on gender, race, religion, disability and any other perceived or actual characteristic). And we will fight to make sure that any GOP efforts to outlaw gay marriage through a constitutional amendment will be voted down in 2012.