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Framing Gay Marriage

Framing Gay Marriage

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Published by Ryan Ruud

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Published by: Ryan Ruud on Dec 17, 2012
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RuudCOMM 634Framing Gay Marriage1
FRAMING
GAY
MARRIAGE
 
 
RuudCOMM 634Framing Gay Marriage2
In May 2011, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a proposalfor a
constitutional amendment that would define marriage in the state’s
constitution as being only between a man and a woman. Earlier that month theSenate passed the same proposal leaving it up to the voters of Minnesota todecide the fate of more than 10,000 same-sex couples living in Minnesota as of the last census. (Peterson)In a state that already extends hospital visitation rights to same-sexpartners, prohibits housing discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation,allows same-sex partners to adopt, prohibits employment discrimination basedon sexual orientation, has hate-crime law classifications that include sexualorientation, and laws that address discrimination or harassment in theeducational system tied to sexual orientation, many pro-marriage equality groupswere left scratching their heads. (Human Rights Campaign) How could a state,so widely seen as progressive, take such an aggressive measure to potentiallylimit the rights of LGBT partners?The reality is, that while legislation that implicitly supports LGBT rightsexists in the land of 10,000 lakes, there exists a larger concentration of legalconsiderations that do not imply protection for LGBT couples and only extendsprotection to couples classified as married.Project515, a Minnesota non profit aimed at battling inequalities inMinnesota state law, have outlined a multitude of grievances from issues of lifeand death to implicit discrimination to same-sex partners. For example, MNStatute 3.7392 aims to define a survivor of the I-35W bridge collapse and who
 
RuudCOMM 634Framing Gay Marriage3
thereby is entitled to the Survivors Compensation Bill. The Statute reads as
the surviving spouse or next of kin of a deceased survivor who would be entitled to bring an action under section 573.02.
A same-sex partner would not be able tomake a claim (Project515).Countless times throughout the legal structure of the state of Minnesota,same-sex couples are not seen as equal in the eyes of the law. As a result, theability of same-sex couples to achieve legal recognition of marriage in this statebecomes a matter of 
substantial importance to a sizeable segment of the state’s
population.Leading the fight for marriage equality are a number of non-profitorganizations including OutFront Minnesota, Project515 and Minnesotans Unitedfor All Families. All three organizations worked hard leading up to both theSenate and House votes to inform legislators and compel constituents to do thesame, to not pass the ballot measure. However, since the failure to stop theballot measure, all three have immediately taken to organizing and developingcommunication strategy to support marriage equality in the November 2012election.What concerns marriage equality proponents, is the number of times,when left to a public vote, marriage amendments have been passed either defining marriage as between a man and a woman or explicitly banning same-sex marriage. Arizona (2008), Tennessee and Colorado(2006), among othershave all passed marriage amendments. (CNN Election Results)

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