VIDEO: Same-Sex Marriage Moves Two Steps Closer to Legalization
Highlight of debate was extended back-and-forth between sponsor of bill and author of 2012 marriage amendment.
A bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota—written by a Southwest Minneapolis state Senator—passed its last hurdle before a floor vote in the state Senate Tuesday afternoon.
The Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee approved Sen. Scott Dibble's (DFL-61) Senate File 925 on a 5-3 vote. The measure is co-sponsored by first-termSen. Branden Petersen (R-35). Later that evening, the House Judiciary Committee passed the measure's companion bill, House File 1054, sponsored by Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-62A).
A highlight of the Senate debate was extended back-and-forth between opponent Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), the bill's co-author. That debate starts around the 14:40 mark on the YouTube video above.
“I am overjoyed that my colleagues who serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of this bill today," Dibble wrote in a press released shortly after the vote. "Senate File 925 simply protects religious liberties and extends basic freedoms to thousands of Minnesotans who have waited too long to be granted the same opportunities and responsibilities that come with citizenship."
"When this legislation comes to floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives for a vote," Clark wrote in a second press release, "I look forward to spirited conversation with my colleagues ending in our decision to extend the basic freedom to marry to same-sex couples all across Minnesota.”
Legislative leaders have said they hope to pass a budget before giving the marriage bills their final vote, and lobby groups on either side of the issue have already begun targeting individual lawmakers.
Dibble said he expects the measure to pass, "because the values that unite us as Minnesotans are far more important than those that divide us.”
To watch video of the committee's discussion and vote on the bill, click on the video at the top of this post or watch it at the UpTake's Livestream webpage.
Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville) spoke against the bill, saying he was a nice guy—not a "bigot" as some have called him—but, he said, he has an opinion.
Sen. Barb Goodwin (DFL-Columbia Heights) said she'd been hesitant in the past to give the measure full-throated support, despite being a strong supporter of same-sex marriage. Two years ago, Goodwin tried to tack a ban on all divorces onto legislation that put the marriage amendment on the 2012 ballot.
"My concern is that we need to make sure that when this goes on the [Senate] floor, that we have enough votes to pass it. I don't want us to fail. I don't want to think that this was brought up to soon," Goodwin said. "I don't want to discredit the people that went out and voted against their own religious beliefs and their own morals to not get this in the [Minnesota] Constitution because they just knew that wasn't the right thing to do. And that doesn't necessarily mean an acceptance of gay marriage."
Also voting against the bill was Sen. Julianne Ortmann, a Republican whose district includes Chaska and Chanhassen.
Also voting in favor were DFLers Richard Cohen of St. Paul, Kathy Sheran of Mankato, and Kari Dziedzic of Minneapolis.