The editorial board of the Albert Lea Tribune spoke out against the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment on Wednesday. The bill to put same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2012 was introduced by Senate Republicans on Tuesday.

Here’s a portion of the Tribune’s editorial on the amendment:

Look, the talk of amendment is simply a diversion issue. We urge voters to keep their eyes on the ball — the $5 million state budget gap. Republicans and Democrats are far away from each other on estimates. They aren’t even drawing figures from the same budget forecasts. It’s a complete mess in St. Paul.

Bringing up the proposal for amendment about same-sex marriage at this point in the legislative session is like someone pointing and saying, “Hey, look! Is that an airplane?” while they sneak your french fries.

You might have heard of such moves before. In high school and college classes for critical thinking and in political science, instructors define such distractive arguments as a “red herring tactic.”

Then no matter how they come out smelling after budget negotiations are finished, they can go campaign on a social issue such as gay marriage instead.

If the Republicans wanted to be serious about a marriage amendment, they should have brought it up in January or February.

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