Minnesota, USA: How the Marriage Equality Vote Went Down in the House

Written by scott on May 9th, 2013

Minnesota mapAs we reported earlier, the Minnesota House passed the marriage equality bill 75-59. We’ve dug up some more details about how it all went down for you.

Several Amendments were brought up, as On Top Magazine reports:

An amendment designed to shore up Republican support by inserting the word “civil” in front of marriage and sponsored by Republican David FitzSimmons was adopted with a voice vote “In my mind, it’s further reassurance that it’s the state role in marriage and not the religious institutions we’re talking about,” FitzSimmons told the Pioneer Press. An amendment to abolish marriage in Minnesota failed by a wide margin (111-22).

One Democrat, a minister, made up his mind on the floor:

Rep. Tim Faust, a previously undecided Lutheran minister and a Democrat, announced on the floor that he would vote for the marriage bill. Faust said that gay people are “children of God” and “yet they do not have the same rights.” “Today, we have the opportunity to give our brothers and sisters the same rights that most of us have taken for granted,” he told colleagues.

During the three hours of testimony on the bill, other representatives also offered testimony for the bill on the House floor. Edge Boston reports:

“My family knew firsthand that same sex couples pay our taxes, we vote, we serve in the military, we take care of our kids and our elders and we run businesses in Minnesota,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Karen Clark, a Minneapolis Democrat who is gay. “… Same-sex couples should be treated fairly under the law, including the freedom to marry the person we love.”

Demonstrators for the bill filled the halls:

Pro-marriage demonstrators filled the hallways outside the House chambers, some dressed in orange T-Shirts and holding signs that read, “I Support The Freedom to Marry.” Behind them, opponents held up bright pink signs that simply read, “Vote No.” Among the demonstrators was Grace McBride, 27, a nurse from St. Paul. She said she and her partner felt compelled to be there to watch history unfold. She said she hopes to get married “as soon as I can” if the bill becomes law. The legislation would allow her to do so starting Aug. 1. “I have thought about my wedding since I was a little girl,” she said.

Of course, representatives against the bill also had their say. The Washington Blade reports:

State Rep. Kelby Woodard (R-Belle Plaine) said HF 1054 would classify “half of Minnesotans as bigots” as he spoke against it. “We are being asked to redefine marriage,” he said. “We are redefining today in this bill the definition of marriage that has been the bedrock of society for thousands of years.” State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe) cited 2,500 studies he said confirms the benefit of “traditional marriage for men, women and especially children.” State Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) added HF 1054 would remove “gender-specific terminology” from Minnesota’s marriage laws. “There will be consequences intended and not intended to the very essence of who we are and what we become,” state Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) said.

In the end, four republicans joined the democrats to pass the bill. Towleroad.com reports:

Though no Republicans had said they were ‘yes’ votes beforehand, four of them — David FitzSimmons of Albertville, Pat Garofalo of Farmington, Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury and Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie — voted with the Democrats. Democrats Sawatzky and Fritz voted no.

Now the bill goes to the Senate for a final vote Monday.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Minnesota.


Leave a Comment