Latina Minnesota State Senator Voices Opposition to Marriage Inequality

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Patricia Torres Ray

State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray

Last Wednesday, the Minnesota State Senate voted in favor of placing on the 2012 ballot, a state constitutional amendment denying marriage rights to same-sex couples. The measure passed despite there already existing a law limiting marriage rights to heterosexual couples, which the Minnesota legislature passed in 1997.

The majority of the State Senate voted along party lines, with only one Democrat siding with Republicans. Among those voting against the measure was State Senator Patricia Torres Ray (D-Minneapolis), Minnesota’s first Latina State Senator, who was born in Colombia.

“I stand strong against any measure that will deny same-sex couples access to rights, protections and responsibilities automatically granted to heterosexual couples,” said Torres Ray in a written statement.

A married mother of two children, Torres Ray credits her Colombian upbringing with giving her a keen sense of the importance of protecting human rights, including the rights of LGBTQ families. Since her election to the State Senate in 2006, Torres Ray has consistently showed her support for the LGBTQ community, particularly voicing her support for marriage equality.

“Same-sex couples seeking marriage rights today are committed to long stable relationships that promote family stability for them and for their children,” says Torres Ray. “I’m confident that our struggle for marriage equality, social justice and our commitment to stand up for our one another will help us shape a stronger democracy that better protects the dignity and basic rights of every member of our society.”

The measure will now move on to the Republican-controlled State House of Representatives for a vote, where it is expected to pass.

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Danny Olvera

The queer femme first-born of Mexican immigrant parents, Danny is no stranger to sticking out. A native Chicagoan, with a complicated relationship with LA and San Antonio, Danny can be found dancing arhymically on the dance floors of a queer Latin@ nightclub near you.

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