ST. PAUL, May 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Obama administration has condemned a traditional marriage amendment proposal in Minnesota in a statement issued Tuesday.
The amendment, passed by the state legislature on Saturday in a 70-62 vote, would allow Minnesotans the opportunity to vote during the 2012 election to enshrine traditional marriage in the state constitution.
When the gay news source Washington Blade asked for comment on the amendment, White House spokesman Shin Inouye issued a statement. It read:
“The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples or to take such rights away. While he believes this is an issue best addressed by the states, he also believes that committed gay couples should have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.”
Obama’s disapproval of the amendment was matched by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who symbolically “vetoed” the marriage amendment Wednesday. Dayton called the measure “mean-spirited, divisive, un-Minnesotan and un-American.” Dayton’s veto has no power to prevent the amendment from appearing on the ballot, however.
The amendment states: “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.”
The initiative has caused considerable friction in the state: state patrol officers reportedly had to restrain homosexualist activists, angry over the passage of the amendment, who arrived at the Minnesota State House of Representatives to heckle pro-family supporters.
The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the group of bishops led by Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, expressed gratitude for the opportunity for the public to vote on the marriage question.
“Today, the voters of Minnesota, like those in 30 other states, have been given the opportunity to have an important conversation about the future of marriage,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Conference, following the legislature’s vote.