It happens like clockwork: Another election cycle, another bill aimed at creating a ballot measure using fear of gayness to herd “values voters” into the voting booth and the Republican fold, another scene of panicked Democrats fearing to take a stand for gays because it might drive some socially conservative voters into the arms of the GOP.
But something funny happened to the clockwork this time out, at least in Minnesota — the Democrats are refusing to panic. Instead, led by our new governor, Mark Dayton — who is turning out to possess more calmly-controlled fire in the belly than anyone dreamed possible — they’re standing with the GLBT community, and for marriage equality.
And when I say “fight”, I mean fight. The local Democrats are going after this not just as yet another GOP-designed distraction from the Republican-controlled legislature’s failure to come up with meaningful jobs bills (one of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s key issues last fall), but also taking on the “morality” question itself: Instead of allowing the social conservatives to have the morality playing field all to themselves, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor folks are questioning a “morality” that, under the pretext of respecting religious-based versions of morality, sends the government snooping into our bedrooms and legislating against the actions of consenting, loving adults. Or, as state representative Steve Simon puts it in the video segment above, “How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?”