Monday morning, President Barack Obama weighed in on one of the most divisive issues in Minneapolis politics today—the marriage amendment. According to Minnesota Public Radio, the head of his Minnesota campaign issued this statement:
"While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples," said Kristen Sosanie, spokeswoman for the Obama for America - Minnesota campaign. "That's what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do - it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples - and that's why the President does not support it."
"It was a pleasant surprise to me," Southwest Minneapolis' state Sen. Scott Dibble told Patch. "It builds on statements he's made in the past—his opposition to Proposition Eight in California, to a similar amendment in North Carolina, and his decision to no longer defend the (federal) Defense of Marriage Act."
Kingfield's Rep. Susan Allen joined with fellow legislators from across Minneapolis in issuing a statement thanking the president for his support.
"We thank President Obama for lending his voice to this discussion," Allen's statement read. "(We) hope it sparks a conversation that Minnesotans will be having in their communities in the months leading up to Election Day about what marriage, family and freedom really mean to each of us."
But with Obama inspiring opposition bordering on hatred in some portions of Minnesota, it's possible his vocal support for the LGBT rights coalition opposing the amendment might hurt their chances of beating back the proposal. Dibble, though, doesn't buy that idea.
"Barack Obama has been extremely consistent for calling for greater inclusion and freedom and fairness for all people," Dibble said. "We know where public opinion is moving on relationship equality and marriage and it's moving in a fairly positive direction."