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Unions Oppose Minn. Anti–Marriage Equality Amendment

Unions Oppose Minn. Anti–Marriage Equality Amendment


There's a union label on the opposition to Minnesota's proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Members of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, a public employee union, voted Friday to oppose the amendment, which will go before state voters in November 2012, The Minnesota Independent reports.

The group's executive director, Jim Monroe, issued a statement saying, "We were supportive of domestic partner benefits in 2001 because of our union's belief in fairness and equality for all. We remain committed to making sure that all of our members, their families or any Minnesotan is not subjected to discrimination."

In 2001 the union backed then-governor Jesse Ventura's efforts to have domestic-partner benefits included in contract negotiations for state workers. Republicans in the state legislature killed the domestic-partner agreement, however.

Several other labor groups oppose the amendment, including the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, and Council 5 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

In other developments, today the Independence Party, one of three with major-party status in Minnesota, announced that it was joining the campaign against the amendment, the Independent reports. "Our platform declares that 'We oppose having the government impose state-sponsored morality or values on people of good conscience with differing views," chair Mark Jenkins said in a statement. "This is a perfect example."

Also, marriage equality opponents characterized as "intimidation and harassment" a complaint by Common Cause Minnesota that claimed they failed to report lobbying expenses related to several ads last year. The state's Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board dismissed the complaint last week.

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