Death Threat on Life of Opponent to Ban on Gay Marriage

by Newscenter Staff
April 25, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(St. Paul, Minnesota) Police are investigating a death threat made against a Minnesota state senator who voted against a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.

The letter addressed to Sen. Satveer Chaudhary contained a picture of Chaudhary with a bullet hole drawn on it. The picture was attached to a newspaper ad run by a group promoting the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. 

The Department of Public Safety is trying to determine the origin of the letter but assistant commissioner Tim Leslie said there was no return address on the envelope.

In a media statement Chaudhary denounced the letter as political hate speech.

"One anonymous coward does not change my mission as a legislator," Chaudhary's statement said. "It is my hope that Minnesotans will reject these blatant attempts to drive a wedge between the people of our state and not sink to their level of discourse."

The group that ran the ad - Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage - condemned the letter and said it doesn't condone threats of violence.

The Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee rejected the proposed amendment earlier this month. (story

The vote means the proposed amendment will not appear on the November ballot but Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage is campaigning to have the issue introduced in the next session of the legislature.

Yesterday it was disclosed that the group, and another - Minnesota for Marriage - have used a legal loophole to avoid filing lobbyist disclosure reports. (story)

Meanwhile, a public opinion poll released last month shows that a majority of voters in Minnesota oppose same-sex marriage but are unlikely to vote for a proposed amendment to ban gay weddings. (story)

© 2006