Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009: Palwenty and gays ready for battle

Gay groups will push an aggressive agenda in Minnesota this year, but will likely face the veto pen of Governor Tim Pawlenty.

.... the [gay] community’s confidence is tempered by an awareness that opponents of marriage equality are more determined than ever to defeat any advances made in the Capitol. In particular, the continuing partnership between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the religious right could spell doom for pro-equality initiatives.

Gay groups will propose the Marriage and Family Protection Act, which would allow same-sex couples to marry. It's an odd name, because it co-opts socially conservative language. The religious right often ensconces opposition to gay marriage within "protecting marriage" terms, while gay groups retort with "promoting equality" arguments. But in MFPA, gay groups are making the case that allowing more couples the right to marry will fundamentally protect marriage. Whether you agree or not, it's shrewd linguistics.

For his part, Pawlenty's likely to veto the act. He's forged a close alliance with social conservatives on a number of anti-gay measures, and national ambitions will keep him even closer to his philosophical home.