Sunday, July 01, 2012 By Aaron Brown
In my experience no issue causes as much cultural discomfort here as gay rights. Even the acknowledgement of gay people as human beings is very difficult for some in this more socially conservative region. That's why these conversations are so very important, though. As the larger culture shifts to accept more rights for people who happen to be gay, this "one man, one woman" marriage amendment is a final, divisive attempt to enshrine older traditions into the state constitution. By all appearances the vote will be very close and the Range, a typically DFL area, is probably one of the most important battlegrounds.
I've embedded the MPR story below:
On Monday night at 6:30 the Mountain Iron City Council will vote on a resolution of opposition to the marriage amendment. The symbolism will be thick. Mt. Iron, the "First City" of the Mesabi Range is also home to the region's largest iron mine and is located more or less in the center of the Iron Range. This one vote won't necessarily predict the result of the fall referendum, but shows the degree to which this issue forces Rangers into an uncomfortable position: talking about our most personal feelings and the parts of our family history that aren't bellowed across a downtown bar for a laugh.
I grew up on the Range in a typical sort of way. As I've gotten to know friends who are gay I can only come to one logical conclusion: passing an unnecessary amendment isolating gay people as a class without rights is wrong. It will hurt people. It doesn't make other marriages stronger; it only spreads pain and injustice. I will vote "no" and though I strive to be fairly open minded here on the blog about political opinions different than my own, I am not going to be shy about my thoughts on this issue.