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Franken Slams Minn. Ballot Measure

Franken Slams Minn. Ballot Measure


U.S. senator Al Franken has slammed the Minnesota state legislature for allowing a constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage to appear on the 2012 ballot, calling the move an attack on same-sex couples who already cannot marry in the state.

"Every Minnesotan deserves dignity and equal treatment under the law, and our state's same-sex couples should have the same right to marry as anyone else -- period," Franken said in a brief Monday afternoon statement to The Advocate. "This amendment would do nothing more than write discrimination into our state's constitution and add to the barriers same-sex couples already face to the full recognition of their families. I'm hopeful that common sense and compassion will prevail and that this amendment will be defeated."

Not all members of Minnesota's congressional delegation share Franken's sentiment when it comes to putting marriage up to a vote, however. Rep. Michele Bachmann, head of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus and a potential 2012 presidential candidate, has used the issue of gay marriage -- specifically the Obama administration's February announcement that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act -- as a list-building and fund-raising tool (Franken is one of 24 senators who have cosponsored legislation introduced in March that would repeal the 1996 law).

In recent Iowa appearances with social conservatives, Bachmann has praised voters for ousting three state supreme court justices who struck down an anti-marriage equality law in a 2009 unanimous decision. "In 5,000 years of recorded human history, [no] society [has] ever defined marriage as anything other than between men and women," she said in April during an Iowa Family Leader lecture series appearance. "Not one in 5,000 years of recorded human history. That's an astounding fact and it isn't until the last 12 years or so that we have seen for the first time in recorded human history marriage defined as anything other than between men and between women."

Bachmann has said she will make a formal decision on whether to enter the 2012 presidential race in June.

Read more here.

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