GOP agenda needs amending

Republicans in the Legislature want to put a gay-marriage ban on the ballot.

Daily Editorial Board

Despite gay marriage already being prohibited by two state statutes, Republicans in the state Legislature want to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the 2012 ballot.

Up to this point, party members have been the epitome of consistency, staying in lock step with their job-creation-focused, “living within our means” rhetoric that originated during the 2010 gubernatorial election. But now, with MinnesotaâÄôs $5 billion shortfall still looming and the May 23 budget deadline in clear view, the GOP has started playing this tired game of divisive social-issue politics. Allowing the majority to deny minority rights based on sexual orientation is deplorable and unacceptable.

But this proposal in particular is more than just an ideological battle between progressives and conservatives âÄî itâÄôs bad business.

If passed, businesses that offer employees same-sex partner benefits would be unable to continue to do so. This is unfair and could mean that consumers will take their local shopping online to businesses that do offer these benefits. A similar thing happened when many pro-gay citizens boycotted Target for shelling out $150,000 to an organization that supported GOP gubernatorial candidate and gay-marriage opponent Tom Emmer.

For a party that claims to have businessesâÄô backs, Republicans are presenting a potentially detrimental move. While this was passed 8-4 on party lines by a Senate committee and is one step closer to showing up on the ballot in 2012, GOP lawmakers whose names will also be on the ballot should remember that oppressive and unfair actions like this will not be forgotten.