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Religious conservatives push Minnesota GOP to pass amendment to ban gay marriage

Religious conservatives are stepping up the pressure on Republicans legislators as the final week of the legislative session approaches and a proposed amendment to add a ban on gay marriage to the Minnesota Constitution appears stalled. The Minnesota Family Council threatened Republicans that any effort to stall the bill will be redefined as a vote against the bill, while the National Organization for Marriage pleaded that if the bill doesn’t go forward it will encourage “gay marriage activists.”

“Contact your legislator and tell them to vote yes on the marriage amendment,” the Minnesota Family Council wrote to supporters. “Also, tell them that now is the time to pass the amendment and that any effort to postpone, delay or table the bill will be considered a vote against the amendment.”

The email continued, “The people of Minnesota deserve a full and open campaign to decide the future of marriage. Putting a vote off until 2012 means an abbreviated conversation about marriage that is overshadowed in the midst of a presidential race. The only ones served by putting this vote off are gay marriage advocates, not Minnesota voters or Minnesota families.”

That identical line appeared in an email from the Washington, D.C.–based National Organization for Marriage, which said it had heard rumors that Republicans wanted to table the bill.

“The bill now goes to the House where we are hearing rumors that some House members are talking of tabling the amendment until next year,” NOM wrote. “We need your help today! Gay marriage activists know they aren’t likely to defeat the amendment this year—and would like nothing better than to push the vote off for another year.”

“Let your representative know that a vote to table the amendment is a vote to undermine marriage!”

Brad Brandon, a pastor and talk show host who endorsed a slate of conservative candidates last fall, sent an alert out to his ministry’s membership.

“Right now the Marriage Amendment is in grave danger of being lost in the House of Representatives,” he wrote. “A few rouge [sic] Republican State Reps are trying to stall the Marriage Amendment in the House. We are urging everyone to call their State Reps and urge them to support the Marriage Amendment today!”

He added, “Let’s all stand up and be the SALT and the LIGHT Christ called us to be.”

The bill has passed the Minnesota Senate and several committees in the House. The bill was pulled off the agenda in the House Rules and Administration Committee several weeks ago, and no hearing his currently scheduled for the bill.

The legislative session ends on May 23.

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