Promoting rainbows

Minnesota plans to put gay marriage ban to a vote next November.

Last week, Texas voters approved a state constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and prohibits the creation of a law allowing other unions identical or similar to marriage. This makes Texas the 19th state to vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Minnesota is not far behind in putting the matter in the hands of its citizens. Although there is already a Minnesota law that bans gay marriages, the constitutional amendments passed in several states are with intent to serve as a guard law in future court rulings. Lawmakers plan to put it to a vote next November.

Support in Texas came from Gov. Rick Perry and many church leaders. The Ku Klux Klan even rallied for this one in Austin.

The Twin Cities area and the University community already serve as a battleground for the issue, and will do so more intensely as 2006 comes around. The Twin Cities area has a strong and active gay and lesbian community, as does the University.

The University is perhaps the most concentrated community with many people on both sides of the issue. Republican activists as well as those working hard to promote gay rights are ever-present here.

Though the entirety of the state of Minnesota doesn’t talk ultra-openly about the gay marriage debate, the urban areas surrounding the University and the Twin Cities are perhaps the best place for equal representation from both supporters and opponents of the ban.

Putting an issue regarding the rights of a minority group to a popular vote of the state is a hard battle to win. In Texas, only 11 percent of people in the state even voted on the issue. What really will make a difference is the activism in the Twin Cities that will spread awareness and opinions to the rest of the state. The vote is coming up soon enough for Minnesotans. It will be the front lines for many who feel strongly about the issue.