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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.”

DMox February 20, 2013 at 03:22 PM
The idea of making a "special class" similar to being a sibling is almost more demeaning and offensive as just being against the bill. This is not only about the legal benefits associated with marriage - there are legal was around all of those rights - it is about being seen as equal under the law. Separate but Equal does not work.
Dan Johnson February 27, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Marriage it is a fundamental right of all persons. The only eligibility requirement for fundamental rights is being human. Reasonable restrictions may be made only when a compelling and legitimate governmental interest can withstand judicial scrutiny. Most can agree with the courts that reasonable restrictions include age, ability to demonstrate informed consent, and not being closely related or currently married. Gender is not a restriction. There is no legitimate governmental interest served by requiring one of each. Procreation ability has never been a requirement for marriage, and therefore fails as a legitimate excuse for denial of equal treatment under the law. Yet even that irrational excuse for discrimination ignores the fact that gay people can and do reproduce, and are raising children either biologically related or adopted. Denial of equal treatment under the law provides no benefit to opposite sex couple families. It only harms same sex couple families needlessly.

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