April 11, 2013Governor Mark Dayton130 State Capitol75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. BlvdSaint Paul, MN 55155Speaker of the House Paul Thissen463 State Office Building100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr BlvdSaint Paul, MN 55155Majority Leader Tom Bakk 226 State Capitol75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. BlvdSaint Paul, MN 55155Dear Governor Dayton, Speaker Paul Thissen and Majority Leader Tom Bakk:For the past two decades, our nation has debated the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The data availabletoday suggests that Minnesota and the rest of the country are moving on a journey toward the freedom to marryfor same-sex couples. A few examples of this momentum include:
The tide of public opinion has continuously moved toward supporting the freedom to marry. Today, 58 percent of all adult Americans think same-sex marriage should be legal, according to a March 2013
ABC News-Washington Post
survey. Among young people, the survey found 81 percent support same-sexmarriage. The highly-regarded Pew Research Center, in a survey conducted at about the same time, alsofound strong support for same-sex marriage. Two other points from the Pew survey are particularlynoteworthy:
According to Pew, “The long-term shift in the public’s views about same-sex marriage isunambiguous.” The most recent survey found that about 1-in-7 Americans have changed their opinionand now favor same-sex marriage.
The survey also found that two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) agree that same-sex couples shouldhave the same legal rights as heterosexual couples; just 30 percent disagree.
Recent public votes on the issue show further the electorate’s growing support, including Minnesota’sfirst-in-the-country rejection of a constitutional amendment limiting the definition of marriage. Maine,Maryland and Washington voted in 2012 to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.
Additionally, actions by legislative bodies in very diverse states assure that full equality will be theultimate destination. Today, marriage is legal in nine states as well as Washington, D.C. At least four states, including Minnesota, appear to be poised to address the issue legislatively in 2013.The only remaining question is how long it will take us to arrive.