Entering the 2007 legislative session in January there were nearly two dozen fewer pro-family legislators which meant significant liberal majorities in the state legislature. As a result, homosexual activists were confidently pushing domestic partner legislation which would have granted homosexual government employees marriage benefits. In other words, it was an effort to redefine the family and take a significant step towards same-sex marriage.
In fact, they had four different bills seeking to redefine the family and grant recognition for homosexual couples through state and local government employee plans, and sick leave and hospital visitation plans. I'm sure they were surprised that they came out of the session in May with no successes. Why were they unsuccessful despite large, supportive liberal majorities in the legislature?
There were a number of reasons but the critical reason was Governor Pawlenty's strong, outspoken opposition to these efforts to redefine the family.
Early in February the Minnesota Family Council sponsored a legislative briefing featuring Governor Pawlenty. There he voiced his opposition to domestic partnerships and subsequently said he'd veto legislation containing these provisions. His firm opposition led liberal legislative leaders to back down, fearing his vetoes would threaten their other initiatives.
We appreciate Governor Pawlenty's support for protecting the integrity of the family and marriage. Given the moral foundation of a healthy society are healthy families and marriages headed up by a mother and father, domestic partnerships is exactly the wrong direction to go. It will only lead to greater social breakdown and problems, especially for children. Governor Pawlenty should be applauded for his strong stand.