As Minnesota legislators prepare to consider marriage equality legislation, the bill’s opponents have begun sending out mailers targeting undecided lawmakers. Heather Carlson, reporter for the Rochester Post-Bulletin, tweeted a Minnesota for Marriage mailer targeting state. Sen. Matt Schmit (DFL), suggesting that marriage equality would “erase moms and dads”:
Gay “marriage” in Minnesota … it could happen any day now…
Don’t let the metro area force gay “marriage” on the rest of the state.
Together we can stop this from happening, but we need you to act NOW.
Don’t erase moms and dads.
Call Senator Matt Schmit and tell him to vote NO on the gay “marriage” bill.
Schmit has not publicly taken a position on marriage for same-sex couples, but he was elected in November by a district in which a majority of voters supported the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, which failed. During his campaign, he did speak out against that amendment, but avoided taking a clear position on marriage equality itself.
The “erase moms and dads” motif echoes testimony provided by 11-year-old Grace Evans to the Minnesota legislature earlier this year. The National Organization for Marriage featured video of her remarks at its March for Marriage, in which she asks, “Which parent do I not need, my mom or my dad?” Though the committee holding that hearing did not respond to most people that day, NOM likes to claim no one [was] able to answer that basic question.” But in truth, Grace’s question is an irrelevant strawman built on the assumption that parenting is determined by gender norms. The child of a same-sex couple could just as righteously claim, “Which of my moms do I not need?”
The insinuation of this mailer from Minnesota for Marriage — of which NOM is a coalition member — is that the relationships of same-sex couples are inferior in both the context of “marriage,” as demonstrated by scare quotes around the word, and in terms of raising children. Marriage equality doesn’t erase moms and dads, it recognizes more of them by ensuring same-sex families have the same protections as other families.
Watch NOM’s propaganda video featuring Grace’s testimony, which does actually erase Minnesota’s hundreds of same-sex families: