State Senator Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said today’s announcement that Republican lawmakers plan to introduce a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is an ill-timed distraction that does nothing to address the top three priorities of this year’s legislative session: Solving the $5 billion budget deficit, creating jobs and spurring the state’s economy.
“It’s disturbing that Republicans want to use one of the last weeks of the legislative session to marginalize one group of people and divide our state,” Sen. Dibble said. “We are facing a $5 billion budget shortfall, yet Republicans believe the biggest threat to our state’s welfare is who is allowed to be married.”
“For same-sex couples, marriage is about economics; it’s about allowing families to take responsibility for each other and support their loved ones, creating strong households throughout our state. For this reason, there is significant evidence that the states that do the best economically are the ones that embrace diversity, not shut it out. With this amendment, we are taking Minnesota in exactly the opposite direction of where we should be headed – toward a stronger economy that welcomes the contributions of all people.”
“Minnesotans who are married legally have access to at least 515 laws that provide security, legal protections, and basic rights such as the ability to care for each other. As lawmakers, we should be focused on breaking these barriers that still exist for thousands of Minnesotans, rather than further isolating one group of people and wasting taxpayers’ time with unfounded fears.”
“This issue doesn’t help a single family in Minnesota, it doesn’t create a single job, and it actually harms our state’s economy. It is very troubling that we’re being asked to spend the final days of the legislative session focused on such a divisive issue.”
A link to reports on economic impacts and Minnesota laws unavailable to same-sex couples may be found at http://tinyurl.com/5vbkatx.