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Minnesota Was NOT the First State To Defeat A Constitutional Ban on Same Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

That distinction goes to Arizona, which became the first state to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in 2006 when voters rejected Prop 107 by a margin of 48.2% to 51.8%. Prop 107 would have been a comprehensive ban, prohibiting same-sex marriages as well as any “legal status for unmarried persons… that is similar to that of marriage.” That was the sticking point for Arizona’s large number of co-habiting seniors who remain unmarried in order to protect their pension benefits. Once that clause was removed, Prop 102 passed in 2008.

A lot of people are celebrating Minnesota’s defeat of Amendment 1. I, too, am overjoyed to see Minnesota — as Midwestern a state as they come — declaring that discrimination stops here. But it is really bugging the hell out of me to see so many media outlets proclaiming Minnesota as the “first state in the nation” to reject a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. That is not correct. I live in one of the most god-awful, backward and angry states in the union, but for two lovely years from 2006 to 2008, my adopted home held the distinction for being the only state to turn down a marriage amendment, and it will always remain the first to do so.

So that truly wonderful feeling that Minnesotans are feeling right now? That feeling that the world has changed in a most woderful way? That feeling that you get when you look at your neighbors with the confidence of knowing that they also see you as their neighbor in a way you perhaps hadn’t felt before? I know that feeling very well, and I’m thrilled that others are feeling it again today. And I’m not giving that memory up. It’s one of the very few proud memories around here to hold on to.

Comments

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KZ
November 7th, 2012 | LINK

The first thing I thought about when I learned Minnesotans shot down that amendment was Arizona. Hopefully, the next time this issue is presented to voting Minnesotans (and I have a bad feeling it will be), they’ll shoot it down again.

tim
November 7th, 2012 | LINK

To be fair – the Arizona amendment was more stringent and forbid both marriage and civil unions. The Minnesota amendment covered only marriage.

The Lauderdale
November 7th, 2012 | LINK

I’m not from Arizona – never been there in my life – but I remembered it. I think it is worth remembering. It made me feel good at the time, even if it did pass later.

kathy
November 8th, 2012 | LINK

Jim, we poured our blood sweat and tears into defeating Prop 107 and we never get credit for it. It happened. I was standing next to Rep Kolbe in that bar at the old train depot with everybody else from that campaign when the results were confirmed. We were looking over Ray’s shoulder as he refreshed the secretary of state’s election results on his laptop. We were the first to say “NO” to that ugly hatred. Thank you for reminding folks. And thank you for the work done by BTB.

Kelly
November 8th, 2012 | LINK

THANK YOU! I’m so sick of reading that Minnesota was the first, that no state has done it before. What, 2006 didn’t happen?

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