Two weeks ago, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (DFL) renamed the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. He changed it from “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman” to “Limiting The Status Of Marriage To Opposite Sex Couples.” The Republican lawmakers who passed the amendment last year instead of passing a budget are outraged, and have joined with the anti-gay Minnesota for Marriage coalition to petition the state’s Supreme Court to have the Ritchie’s decision reversed. Ritchie, in turn has pointed out that the symbolic veto by Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) strips the amendment of its title, but more importantly, it’s simply his job to name the amendments, not the legislature’s:
RITCHIE: [Minnesota] statute requires the secretary of state to provide titles for constitutional amendments with the approval of the attorney general. The big things that we think about is are we being complete and accurate so that some voters will read that, and then that’ll be some of the important information they’ll receive and then there’ll be a ballot question that will be other important information that they receive.
Ritchie has since renamed another amendment calling for a voter identification law, and its proponents may file a similar suit.
In regards to the marriage amendment, the fact that there is now a legal battle over its title demonstrates what a petty venture it is. Its proponents believe that “recognition…solely” is positive-sounding language that voters will find appealing, despite the fact that “limiting” is a more precise of words. If a few words can make or break whether or not people might support it, that should demonstrate how incredibly lacking in merit the measure is. The law seems to stand behind Ritchie’s decision, which will hopefully make it harder for Minnesota conservatives to dupe voters into enshrining discrimination in their state constitution.