Update (Nov. 7, 2012): Minnesota voters rejected the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman during the General Election Nov. 6. The measure required a simple majority, however, 51.3 percent of voters opposed the amendment and 1 percent did not answer the question on the ballot.
Tomorrow, Minnesota will be one of four states to vote on an issue related to same-sex marriage. Thirty states currently have constitutional amendments on the books defining marriage as between one man and one woman, the same definition of marriage Minnesota voters are considering. Among those speaking out against the measure is the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®.
In June, MAAR’s board of directors passed a resolution—which they announced in a public statement last Tuesday—opposing the Minnesota 2012 Definition of Marriage Amendment. It’s believed to be the first time a REALTOR® association has taken a position on a constitutional marriage amendment, according to NAR archivists. NAR does not have a position on marriage equality.
Excerpt from MAAR’s resolution:
MAAR supports fair housing access, as well as fair and equal access to all the rights, benefits and privileges granted through homeownership. While LGBT people are not prevented from buying or selling real estate in Minnesota today, nor will they be as a result of the proposed amendment, the fact remains that non-legally married couples do not have the same access to the benefits and privileges of shared homeownership as married people.
The motivation for MAAR’s opposition is the nearly 100 laws in Minnesota affecting home ownership rights for those in a relationship or union not legally recognized by the state, says Mark Allen, CEO of MAAR. “That creates an environment where inequitable situations need to be addressed,” he says.
In fact, one of the current legal challenges facing DOMA — the federal Defense of Marriage Act established in 1996 that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman — is directly rooted in housing. The case of Windsor v. United States, which could make its way to the Supreme Court, is contesting the federal estate tax against same-sex spouses. Continue reading »