Minnesota Amendment 1

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Minnesota Amendment 1 (also called Minnesota Marriage Amendment[1] or Minnesota Gay Marriage Amendment[2]) was a legislatively referred constitutional amendment proposed to ban marriage between same-sex couples that appeared on the ballot on November 6, 2012. It was rejected by 52.6% of voters.[3]

Legislative approval[edit]

On May 11, 2011, the Minnesota Senate passed a bill to place a proposed amendment to the state constitution on the ballot that would ban same-sex marriage. The vote was 37–27, with all Republicans and one Democrat voting for the amendment. An identical bill was passed by the House on May 21; the vote was 70–62 with two Democrats and all but four Republicans voting for the amendment.[4] The proposed amendment was on the ballot on November 6, 2012.[5] The proposed amendment read: "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota." It did not refer to civil unions or domestic partnerships.[6] The question being presented to voters on the ballot read: "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?"[6]

Support and opposition[edit]

Julian Bond and Governor Mark Dayton at a "Vote No" rally in June 2012.

In March 2012, Minnesota's Roman Catholic bishops had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, who told them that preserving the traditional definition of marriage was a priority. Roman Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis organized leaders of different religious denominations in support of the amendment and committed his own church to spend $650,000 on behalf of its passage. In September he joined other religious leaders in a demonstration in support of the amendment at the State Capitol.[7] The Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense Fund contributed more than half the $1.2 million raised by Minnesota for Marriage, the principal organization supporting the amendment, including $130,000 from the Knights of Columbus, a national Catholic organization.[8]

Immediately after the Minnesota legislature voted to put Amendment 1 on the ballot, Outfront Minnesota and Project 515, two groups working for LGBT rights in the state, formed Minnesotans United for All Families – the main campaign organization that would work to defeat the amendment. Over the course of a year and a half, Minnesotans United would raise and spend over $12 million, more than double the pro-amendment side.[9] More importantly, the Minnesotans United campaign formed a coalition group of allies with almost 700 member organizations that included political parties, labor unions, veterans, civic groups and businesses like General Mills.[10][11] The board and staff of the campaign reflected the same kind of diversity as its coalition partners and even included prominent Republicans.[9] Drawing on lessons learned from past campaigns in other states, Minnesotans United did not cede the religious ground – it hired a faith director to reach out to communities of faith, and more than 100 of its coalition members were churches and other faith groups from around the state.[12]

The centerpiece of the Minnesotans United for All Families campaign became its huge grassroots effort to have conversations with the voters about marriage. Rather than focus on equal rights and fairness, as was done in previous campaigns, Minnesotans United and its thousands of volunteers, had personal conversations over the phones and face to face about how marriage had the same importance and meaning for both straight and same-sex couples.[12] This messaging strategy, which was also used in the campaign’s ad campaign, helped move conflicted voters and resulted in Minnesota being the first state, after 30 attempts, to defeat a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.[9] Minnesotans United is likely the biggest grassroots campaign in the state's history, having had 27,000 volunteers knock on over 400,000 doors and make over 900,000 phone calls in the final eight days of the campaign[13]

The Minnesota arm of President Obama's presidential re-election campaign announced his opposition to this proposed constitutional amendment in April.[14] Advertisements in opposition to the amendment also featured Minnesota Vikings football player Chris Kluwe.[15]

Opinion polls[edit]

Various public opinion surveys of Minnesota residents have asked questions regarding same-sex marriage. The questions vary, with some surveys referring directly to proposed Amendment and others asking more general questions.

Date of opinion poll Conducted by Sample size For Against Undecided/Other Margin of error Question
May 2–5, 2011[16] Star Tribune 806 adults 39% 55% 7% (Don’t know/refused to answer) ±4.7% "Please tell me if you would favor or oppose amending the Minnesota constitution to ban same-sex marriage."
May 23–24, 2011[17] SurveyUSA 552 RV 51% 40% 2% not sure
8% not vote
±4.3% "If an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution were on the ballot, that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, would you vote FOR the amendment? Against the amendment? Or not vote on the measure?"
May 27–30, 2011[18] Public Policy Polling 1,179 voters 46% 47% 7% not sure ±2.9% "Should 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?"
October 17–26, 2011[19] St. Cloud State University Survey 626 LV 43.6% 47.4% 9% ±5% "Should 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?"
November 2–3, 2011[20] Princeton Survey Research Associates International 807 adults 48% 43% 8% (Don’t know/refused to answer) ±4.4% "Would you favor or oppose amending the Minnesota constitution to allow marriage only between a man and a woman?"
November 2–7, 2011[21] SurveyUSA 543 RV 46% 40% 4% not sure
10% not vote
±4.3% "If an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution were on the ballot, that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, would you vote FOR the amendment? Against the amendment? Or not vote on the measure?"
January 21–22, 2012[22] Public Policy Polling 1,236 voters 48% 44% 8% not sure ±2.8% "Should 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?"
January 31 – February 2, 2012[23] SurveyUSA 542 RV 47% 39% 4% not sure
10% not vote
±4.3% "An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution on the ballot defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Will you vote FOR the amendment? Against the amendment? Or not vote on the measure?"
May 31 – June 3, 2012[24] Public Policy Polling 973 voters 43% 49% 7% not sure ±3.1% "Should 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?"
July 17–19, 2012[25] SurveyUSA 552 LV 52% 37% 6% not sure
5% not vote
±4.3% "An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution on the ballot defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Will you vote FOR the amendment? Against the amendment? Or not vote on the measure?"
September 6–9, 2012[26] SurveyUSA 551 LV 50% 43% 8% ±4.3% "Also on the ballot is a ballot measure about marriage. It asks: 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?"
September 10–11, 2012[27] Public Policy Polling 824 LV 48% 47% 5% not sure ±3.4% "Should 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?"
September 17–19, 2012[28] Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc. 800 LV 49% 47% 4% ±3.5% "Another [amendment on the November ballot] asks "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Minnesota?" If the election were held today, would you vote: "YES", in favor of the amendment; "NO", against the amendment."
October 5–8, 2012[29] Public Policy Polling 937 LV 46% 49% 5% not sure
1% won't vote
±3.2% "Should 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?"
October 12–14, 2012[30] SurveyUSA 550 LV 47% 46% 7% ±4.3% "Also on the ballot is a ballot measure about marriage. It asks: 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?"
October 15–21, 2012[31][32] St. Cloud State University Survey 600 LV 44% 51% 5% ±5% "The second proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution asks "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman be valid or recognized as marriage in Minnesota?" If you were to vote today would you vote for the amendment, vote against the amendment, or not vote on this issue?"
October 23–25, 2012[33][34] Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc. 800 LV 48% 47% 5% ±3.5% "Another ballot question asks "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Minnesota?" If the election were held today, would you vote: YES in favor of the amendment; NO against the amendment"
October 26–28, 2012[35] SurveyUSA 574 LV 48% 47% 5% ±4.2% "Also on the ballot is a ballot measure about marriage. It asks: 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?"
November 1–3, 2012[36] SurveyUSA 556 LV 47% 48% 5% ±4.2% "Also on the ballot is a ballot measure about marriage. It asks: 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?"
November 2–3, 2012[37] Public Policy Polling 1,164 LV 45% 52% 3% not sure
0% won't vote
±2.9% "Should 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?"
County results of Minnesota Amendment 1. Green means a vote for the amendment, red means a vote against.

Results[edit]

Constitutional Amendment 1
Recognition of Marriage
Solely Between One Man and One Woman
Choice Votes  %
Referendum failed No 1,550,864 52.56%
Yes 1,399,916 47.44%
Total votes 2,950,780 100.00%
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State - Results for Constitutional Amendments

County breakdown[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weathering the Storms of the Minnesota Marriage Amendment
  2. ^ Minnesota to vote on gay-marriage ban
  3. ^ MSNBC (November 7, 2012). "Minnesota election results". MSNBC. 
  4. ^ "Voters to determine the future of marriage, House decides". Star Tribune. May 22, 2011. 
  5. ^ "SF1308 Status in Senate for Legislative Session 87: Constitutional amendment to recognize marriage solely between one man and one woman". Minnesota State Legislature. Retrieved June 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b http://www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=1719
  7. ^ French, Rose; Helgeson, Baird (7 October 2012). "Marriage amendment: The archbishop draws the line". Star-Tribune. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Helgeson, Baird (18 October 2012). "Minnesota's marriage amendment fight funded by Catholics across U.S.". Star Tribune. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/11/09/marriage-how
  10. ^ http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/06/14/politics/general-mills-opposes-marriageamendment
  11. ^ http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/165812836.html?refer=y
  12. ^ a b http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2012/11/what-happened-here-three-observations-about-minnesotas-marriage-vote
  13. ^ http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/191468771.html?refer=y
  14. ^ Louwagie, Pam (9 April 2012). "Obama weighs in against Minnesota's marriage ballot". Star Tribune. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  15. ^ Gervino, Tony (19 October 2012). "The Punter Makes His Point". New York Times. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  16. ^ Minnesota Poll: Majority oppose gay marriage ban
  17. ^ 24 Hours After Pawlenty Enters 2012 Presidential Contest, He Fails to Carry Home State of Minnesota in Head-to-Head with Obama
  18. ^ Minnesotans like Dayton, split on gay marriage
  19. ^ Annual Minnesota Statewide Survey Fall 2011 – Findings Report
  20. ^ Minnesota Poll results: Marriage Amendment
  21. ^ In Minnesota, DFL Incumbent U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Has Double-Digit Advantage over Best-Known GOP Challengers; In Fight for North Star State's 10 Electoral Votes, Obama Defeats All Republican Comers, Though Romney Makes a Go of It
  22. ^ Dayton Sees Strong Approval in Minnesota
  23. ^ In Minnesota, Obama Takes All Comers; Klobuchar Re-Elected, Marriage Amendment Supported; Dayton Plus 17, Legislature Minus 48
  24. ^ Minnesotans’ opposition to marriage amendment growing
  25. ^ In Minnesota – Obama Carries the North Star State, 6 Atop Romney 3 Months Till Voting Starts; Klobuchar Re-Elected to U.S. Senate
  26. ^ In Minnesota, 8 Weeks Till Votes Are Counted, Obama 10 Points Atop Romney; Marriage Amendment Narrowly Favored; Klobuchar Sails
  27. ^ Minnesota split on marriage amendment
  28. ^ MINNESOTA POLL RESULTS: Marriage amendment
  29. ^ Minnesota marriage amendment narrowly trails
  30. ^ 3 Weeks Till Votes Are Counted, 'Yes' on Minnesota Marriage Amendment Now in Jeopardy; Obama Steady Atop Romney; Klobuchar Re-Elected:
  31. ^ St. Cloud State poll shows slender lead for opponents of marriage amendment
  32. ^ FALL STATEWIDE SURVEY OCTOBER, 2012
  33. ^ Breakdown of poll findings on marriage amendment
  34. ^ How the poll was conducted
  35. ^ In Minnesota, Marriage Amendment Remains Too-Close-to-Call; Romney Creeps Up on Obama, But Is It Enough to Make a Difference?
  36. ^ In Minnesota, Marriage Amendment Teeter Totter May Be Tipping, But Is It Enough To Defeat Ballot Measure?
  37. ^ Obama up 8 in Minnesota, amendments trail for passage
  38. ^ Results for Constitutional Amendments

External links[edit]