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Duluth passes resolution opposing constitutional ban on gay marriage

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
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DULUTH, Minn. — In passing a resolution Monday, Duluth became the first city in Minnesota to take a stand against the proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, which is slated to appear on the ballot for a statewide referendum vote in November 2012.

The Duluth City Council passed the resolution Monday in a 6-2 vote, with one city council member absent, having left prior to the vote’s roll call.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, several city councilors earlier were critical of the council taking up the matter, suggesting it was not the proper venue, but they remained silent at Monday’s meeting.

“Equality concerns me. It will always concern me,” said Councilor Jeff Anderson, who co-sponsored the resolution. “This directly affects and impacts people in the city of Duluth.”

“This is about maintaining inclusive communities that will help us grow and thrive,” he said, suggesting that Duluth’s future will be brighter if people view it as a welcoming city.

Following the meeting, Councilor Jim Stauber said he opposed the resolution because he didn’t think the city council was the proper venue “to convince people whether to support this amendment or not.”

“The good citizens of the state of Minnesota will all get a chance to vote on this. It’s a pretty simple issue, and people should be allowed to vote,” he said, adding that on a personal level, he is supportive of the amendment.

Council President Sharla Gardner, who co-sponsored the resolution, contended that the city shouldn’t remain silent on important issues.

“I believe the role of city government is to be the front line of democracy,” she said.

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