Religious leaders are at the forefront of the final weekend of campaigning for and against the marriage amendment on Tuesday's ballot. More than 500 Christian leaders with the group Minnesota Pastors For Marriage released a statement in support of the amendment that would Constitutionally define marriage as an opposite sex union. Opponents planned a worship service followed by the blessing of a "Minnesota Votes No Tour" that will travel the state until Election Day.
Minnesotans who came to the polls on primary day to vote for or against the proposed Constitutional amendments were disappointed. The amendments were not on the ballot. The marriage and voter ID questions don't come up for a vote until the general election in November. An election official says the mistake is not surprising, with all the attention paid to the amendments.
Governor Dayton is expected to call legislators back to St. Paul this summer to allocate money for flood-stricken counties. But now it appears a special session might not be that simple. Some Republican lawmakers say they're putting together legislation that would prevent the Secretary of State from making planned changes to the language of Constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is changing the title of the constitutional amendment to “Changes to in-person & absentee voting & voter registration; provisional ballots." Sponsors of the measure, seeking to require voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot, want the question titled "Photo Identification Required for Voting." Ritchie is being sued for changing the title on the marriage amendment question.
Obama's Minnesota campaign team on Monday said the president opposes a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. "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," a spokeswoman said.
Governor Mark Dayton says legislators should engage in 'give and take' instead of going around him with constitutional amendments. He says he's most concerned about measures that take away people's rights. The legislature approved a measure to let voters decide on same-sex marriage. Both houses have also approved voter I.D. amendment bills. Some lawmakers are pushing for a amendment to ban mandatory union membership.
Some Republican legislators are urging leaders in the House and Senate to move the controversial bill through committees and onto the floor for a full vote.
The constitutional amendment would not allow contracts to require employees to join unions or pay dues. Sen. Dave Thompson of Lakeville continues to stress the measure will not impact collective bargaining in Minnesota.
The Republican controlled House and Senate are looking to make nearly a dozen changes this year, but without Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's approval. Lawmakers can make this happen by passing legislation that puts an amendment on the November ballot. KARE 11 reports the same sex marriage legislation is the only amendment on this year's ballot right now, but others being considered include Voter ID laws, Right to Work issues, abortion restrictions and tax limitations.
Proposing amendments to the Minnesota Constitution seems to be fashionable at the Capitol this year. More than a dozen amendments have been tossed on the table just this week. Now the proposals include a plan to prohibit spending state money on abortions.
The marriage amendment may not be the only proposed Constitutional amendment put to the state's voters this year. Republican lawmakers are considering ballot questions on other issues. Those include needing an ID to vote, needing a supermajority to pass a tax increase, and making union membership voluntary.