St. Louis County Board Votes to Oppose Marriage Amendment
Posted at: 10/02/2012 6:36 PM
By: Travis Dill
Tempers flared as St. Louis County Commissioners considered a symbolic vote on gay marriage causing Chairman Keith Nelson to call a recess just before the vote.
The county board voted 4-3 in favor of the resolution that officially opposes the Minnesota Marriage Amendment.
Current state law does not allow same-sex couples to marry, and the amendment up for statewide vote on November 6th would make that ban part of the state constitution.
Several commissioners said they disagree with the idea of the county board taking a stance on issues like this.
Commissioner Chris Dahlberg said, “really what you're looking for is for the county board to take a public opinion position 35 days before the voters are going to take a stand on this in Minnesota.”
Before the heated exchange about a dozen citizens spoke respectfully to the board about the issue.
Of the people that spoke at the podium, slightly more were in support of the resolution than opposed.
“I find it a waste of the people's time and money to be here today discussing this issue and try to sway the people's vote," said Carla Bayerl of Duluth.
However, county employee Mike Welch said the vote is about equality.
“You can send a message of all employees are equal or you can send a message of some employees are better than others," Welch said.