Ritchie changes title of the marriage amendment ballot question

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has submitted the title “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples" to Attorney General Lori Swanson for final approval, the Associated Press reports. Supporters of the constitutional amendment want it titled, "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman."
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Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has submitted the title “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples" to Attorney General Lori Swanson for final approval, the Associated Press reports. Supporters of the constitutional amendment want it titled, "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman."

The actual ballot question to voters -- ''Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?" -- does not change.

As the same-sex marriage debate heats up in Minnesota, MPR reports gay-rights advocates are protesting a gathering at Northwestern College in the Twin Cities. Followers of the Exodus International ministry believe same-sex relationships are sinful and that people should resist their temptations. Organizers of the four-day conference said they didn't plan to discuss the proposed marriage amendment.

Two week's ago, General Mills publicly opposed the constitutional amendment. The Golden Valley-based company's CEO told the Pioneer Press he hasn't seen any sales impact.

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Supporters of the constitutional marriage amendment have filed a lawsuit asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to change the ballot title question back to “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman." Last month, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson changed the tittle voters will see in November to “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.”

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Each side is digging in in the fight over the titles of the proposed Constitutional amendments that will appear on Minnesota's fall ballot. Attorney General Lori Swanson filed papers with the Supreme Court insisting it's up to the Secretary of State to come up with the titles. Meanwhile, a Senate committee scheduled a Friday hearing to question Secretary of State Mark Ritchie about his changes to the titles suggested by the Legislature.

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The Golden Valley-based company came out Thursday to voice its opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota. "We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy -- and as a Minnesota-based company we oppose it," General Mills said in a statement. The Pioneer Press notes General Mills and Little Canada-based St. Jude Medical are the only two major corporations in Minnesota to publicly oppose the marriage amendment.

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