Posted: 12/01/12 14:49, Edited: 04/24/13 15:28
by Dave Mindeman
In various interviews and on Almanac, Majority Leader Tom Bakk has been going out of his way to placate the "overreach" crowd... especially when it comes to same sex marriage.
In City Pages, he put it like this:
"We are getting some calls from some real liberal constituencies on the gay marriage issue and repealing the language in statute," Bakk said.
Yes, you are. And for very legitimate reasons. We have just been through one of the most thorough discussions on this topic that any state has had. It was long, it was arduous, and in some cases, it was painful. But, in the end, there was a vote and a decision.
When the Republican legislature put this issue before the voters in regards to making this a Constitutional amendment...even though the law was already there....you could call it overreach. Yes, you could call it that. But following up on that overreach with substantive law is the natural order -- not more overreach.
Senator Bakk seems to believe that no progress was made....
"I am pretty reluctant to get into anything that is of a divisive nature," Bakk told the Tribune. "There has been enough political rancor around here."
When will this issue not be divisive in some context?
Wait till next year and you get into election year politics again. Wait 5 years down the road and we will have to start this conversation all over.
This isn't about a government procedure or a budgetary item. We are talking about a policy that affects the lives of a group of individuals. It won't hurt anybody else, but it is important to the people it affects.
Obviously, this issue is not important to Senator Bakk personally. And that is fine as far as it goes. But he holds a position that sets an agenda. He needs to represent all of us.
I have to admit that I have not been much of a fan of Senator Bakk in leadership. I have always considered him a regional advocate-- and a good one for that purpose. The Iron Range is in his blood - it is his passion. But as Majority Leader of the Senate, he has to think in broader terms. He has to represent a wider constituency.
A repeal of DOMA can happen - at the very least, test it for the votes. Doing it now, this session, is important. Any divisivness that is left over can heal quickly as other issues come to the fore.
Waiting is the enemy. And Bakk wants a waiting game.