In a symbolic move, Minnesota Governor
Mark Dayton vetoed an amendment that seeks to ban gay marriage in the
The Democrat, who earlier pledged to
fight the effort with “every fiber of my being,” was joined by
two openly gay lawmakers – Representative Karen Clark and Senator
Scott Dibble – at a Wednesday news conference at the Statehouse.
On Saturday, the Minnesota House
approved the amendment that seeks to define marriage as a
heterosexual union and sent it to voters for their approval. The
question will appear on next year's ballot.
While acknowledging that his veto won't
stop the question from appearing on the ballot, Dayton said he wanted
to “speak out strongly against” the amendment.
Minnesotans should “reject this
mean-spirited, divisive, un-Minnesotan and un-American amendment,”
“The civil or legal realm of marriage
is the province of government and it must conform to the protections
and guarantees afforded every American citizen under our
“All American citizens are entitled
to equal rights and protections under the law. That would clearly
include the right of a citizen to marry legally the person he or she
“The path of social progress in this
country has been to include everyone fully and equally. This path of
social progress, of human compassion and understanding, would be
tragically reversed by this amendment. Minnesota is better than
this. Minnesotans are better than this. I urge Minnesotans to
reject this amendment," Dayton added.
Dibble said the proposed legislation
“sends a signal to young people who've been so disheartened by the
actions of our legislature, who've been sent such a negative message,
a message of being marginalized, a message that our constitution is
not for them.”
“Our governor is saying, 'That's not
the case,'” he added.
“We are going to love this thing to
death,” Clark told reporters.