Minnesota's marriage debate, which took center stage during this past fall's state elections, now appears headed for an airing at the state Capitol.
State Sen. John Marty (DFL-66) told Patch he plans to introduce a bill within the next two weeks that would lift Minnesota's ban on same-sex marriage.
"I don't think anyone's rights should be subject to public opinion," Marty said, referring to last year's vote on a constitutional amendment that tried to ban same-sex marriage.
Several DFL legislators have been reluctant to foreground any fight for same-sex marriage despite the resounding defeat handed to amendment supporters in November's election. The state's messy fiscal situation and tax problems, they've said, comes first.
"This something that shouldn't have to wait," Marty said.
While he agreed with the importance of budgets and taxes, he claimed the issue need not be a big distraction. He urged the Senate's Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the matter, vote it up or down and, if it passes, bring it to vote of the full Senate.
"This should not be a big time-consuming thing," Marty contended.
Southwest Minneapolis' Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61), another prominent same-sex marriage supporter, told Patch he hopes the issue will be seen as part of conversations about investing in things that keep the state healthy.
"We're tackling large issues of what we're doing as a state to make sure we're on as solid a footing as possible to take care of each other, and hopefully marriage becomes part of that discussion," he said.
Mart said he wants to give churches the freedom to perform same-sex marriage. But Marty his legislation will also respect the rights of churches not perform same-sex marriages.
"Why is government telling the churches who they can marry or who they can't?," asked Marty. "I want to be respectful in this conversation with the Catholic Church."
Nevertheless, Marty added the Catholic Church shouldn't impose its views on other people or churches. That's like telling someone else "not to eat that donut because it offends my diet," he said.