Editorial: Amendment proposal is just a strategy move

Published 11:54 am Friday, May 27, 2011

Throwing a socially divisive issue upon Minnesota voters is a diversion tactic.

The Minnesota House voted 70-63 just before midnight Saturday after nearly six hours of emotional debate to have voters decide in November 2012 the issue of defining marriage as between a man and a woman — in spite of the fact that there already is a law on the books that does just that.

We don’t really believe Republicans who pushed the legislation feel deep down this is a pressing issue for Minnesota. Instead, it’s the same old story of fiscally conservative Republicans who run the party using socially conservative issues in an attempt to distract the public from fiscal issues — such as the floundering economy and the woeful state budget.

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They put this on the ballot as a strategic move. They want voters in 2012 to be polarized on the issue of same-sex marriage rather than focusing on the issue of jobs. In the 2010 election, these same Republicans had campaigned on the issue of jobs, yet no jobs bill was produced in the recent session.

The GOP strategy almost reminds us of the line from the movie “The Wizard of Oz”: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

The vote was along party lines, except four Republicans crossed over to vote no and two Democrats voted yes. Republican Rich Murray was among the four Republicans. With the deadline for the legislative session nearing, he felt the state budget was what the House should have been focusing on.

Cheers to Murray for taking a stand.

Jeers to the 68 Republicans and two Democrats for voting in favor of the measure.