Sen. Dibble's Gay Marriage Bill Expected This Week
Same-sex marriage opponents float a "counter offer"
One week after activists flooded the Minnesota State Capitol in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota, a Southwest Minneapolis legislator is expected to introduce a bill to do just that.
Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61) has introduced similar measures in many past legislative sessions, but this year his efforts might just bear fruit.
“It’s just simply an amendment that removes the restriction that disallows some couples from getting married,” Dibble told WCCO on Sunday. “My strong sense, even from folks in greater Minnesota, is that they’re comfortable with this, they know that Minnesota has changed a lot and is continuing to change at a very rapid pace.”
Pro-legalization activists Minnesotans United for All Families have aimed the political machinery that helped defeat last year's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage at legislators this year. As Patch reported earlier this month, they're aiming to secure swing votes in the legislature by demonstrating that pro-legalization lawmakers will be on "solid political ground."
According to the Star Tribune, same-sex marriage activits have won over at least one Republican legislator, Sen. Branden Petersen, who is considering co-sponsoring Dibble's marriage bill.
While same-sex marriage campaigners continue to sound confident, their opponents are beginning to float "compromise" measures that fall short of civil unions or marriages, but offer some benefits. According to MinnPost, the Minnesota Family Council is suggesting lawmakers create a special class of legal partnerships, as between an adult serving as their sibling's caretaker, that same-sex couples could also access. The proposal's details, however, are scarce, and legalization advocates interviewed by MinnPost rejected the idea out of hand.
“Five or 10 years ago, that would have been extraordinarily welcome,” an anonymous "Republican senior adviser" to MN United said, but called the idea non-starter in 2013. “The genius of that kind of move would be to allow more moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats to say we support it.”