Politics in Minnesota reports:
The new legislative order is cause for optimism in the eyes of Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, who has been lobbying unsuccessfully for years to get legislators to pass a ballot proposal that would change the constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
“Until both bodies shifted, we weren’t going to have an opportunity to bring it up,” Prichard noted. “This has made it a possibility.”
In Minnesota and elsewhere, bills to amend state constitutions have been a key means for Republicans to generate voter turnout by rousing their base with amendments that address themes of limited government and social conservatism.
During the 2004 presidential election year, former Republican state Sen. Michele Bachmann led a heated campaign to get her gay marriage amendment on the ballot.
Even though Minnesota has a so-called Defense of Marriage Act in statute, Bachmann raised the specter of activist judges who might rule counter to the will of the people. Similar proposals were presented to voters in states like Ohio, where they boosted turnout among conservatives.
In Minnesota, Bachmann’s bill died in the DFL-controlled Senate.