Minnesota, USA: Committees in Both House and Senate Approve Marriage Equality Bill

Written by scott on March 13th, 2013

you tube bigThe marriage equality bill in Minnesota got off to a great start Tuesday as committees in both the House and Senate passed the bill. Gay Star News reports:

Both houses of the state of Minnesota’s legislature voted on Tuesday (12 March) to proceed with a bill to legalize gay marriage. The House Civil Law Committee voted 10-7 along party lines to pass the bill and the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-3 earlier on in the evening. The bill is now headed for a full Senate vote, but that is not expected until much later in the session.

At the House hearing, a former lawmaker told the committee she regrets her vote for the state’s ban on same sex marriage, LGBTQ Nation reports:

Lynn Osterman, of New Hope, was a Republican when she served her only term in the Minnesota House. She choked up as she testified Tuesday before a House committee hearing a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, saying she cast a “politically expedient” vote for an amendment to bay gay marriage when one reached the House floor in 2004. Osterman told the representatives voting no on this bill might seem politically expedient now, but they’d have to live with the knowledge that their vote wasn’t fair, respectful or equal. She says she blew her vote, and implored them to get this one right.

LGBTQ Nation reports on some of the other testimony:

Randi Reitan sat next to her husband of 40 years and their son Jacob, who came out as gay 15 years ago. She told the House Civil Law Committee that the time for gay marriage had come. “We want Jacob to have the joy of a wedding, the firm foundation a marriage brings to families and the societal support that comes with all marriage,” she said. Jacob Reitan spoke of watching as his three siblings got married and hoping for the chance to do the same. “As a gay man I should have the same opportunity to marry as my three siblings,” he said. “My desire to love is no less valid and no less worthy of recognition by our state as theirs.”

Opponents had their say too:

Grace Evans, 11, said children learn different things from parents of different genders and that’s why “God made it that way.” Evans said her mother “is my role model on how to be a girl and I love her very much. My dad is also very important to me because he protects me and helps me get the confidence to be a girl who is growing up to be a woman. He takes care of me in a way my mom cannot.” Staring into the eyes of legislators, Evans twice asked which she could do without. She got no answer.

In a strange twist, Business Insider reports that one opponent warned gay marriage would lead to… gay sex:

A “concerned Minnesotan” and dad testified before the Minnesota legislature on whether the state should legalize gay marriage, and his argument is truly bizarre. Basically, Mike Frey says anal sex leads to AIDS, which makes people in sick. That illness, in turn, could cost the people of Minnesota a lot of money.

Because unmarried gays never have sex.

But don’t break out the bubbly yet. On Top Magazine cautions:

While Democrats control both chambers and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton is a supporter, the bill’s potential for passage in either chamber remains uncertain.

Same story, different state. See also Illinois, Rhode Island, Hawaii.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Minnesota.

 

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