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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Scott Dibble on Anti-gay State Constitutional Amendment

Dear Eva,

Thanks for getting in touch about the recent announcement by right wing extremists in the legislature that they intend to push a constitutional amendment that would prohibit marriage for same sex couples.

I intend to spend as much time and energy as is necessary to defeat this mean-spirited and divisive effort. To use the constitution in a way that would limit rights and divide people from each other is un-American and un-Minnesotan.

Minnesotans understand what it means to be fair. Allowing people to take responsibility for themselves and their families by providing healthcare, ensuring inheritance, allowing for hospital visitation ­ all of the rights, responsibilities and commitments that constitute building a life together, is just fair. Minnesotans know that strong, healthy families make strong, healthy communities.

This is an aggressive attempt to turn some Minnesotans into second class citizens. In fact, it is hard to believe that some would use our state’s constitution to enshrine discrimination. Wasting time and political energy on small-minded initiatives like this, when we face such enormous challenges to our budget, education, healthcare, transportation, the environment, state and national security, is to disregard the true reasons we are elected to serve.

I also know that Minnesotans will come to see this effort as a pathetic and transparent attempt to distract people from the failed economic and security policies of the far right neo-conservatives. It is an issue that has been grabbed in a cynical attempt to boost turnout among extremists in the upcoming elections.

On a positive note, I know that this is an issue whose time has come. We will win in the end. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice."

Your voice and energy will be crucial in successfully defeating this at the legislature in order to prevent its appearance on the ballot this fall. I look forward to working with you.

Very truly yours,
Scott Dibble

EY: Ann DeGroot of OutFront Minnesota keeps on characterising this as a "neoconservative" attempt. It is not - this is bigotry - pure and simple. There's nothing conservative about bigotry.