With the state legislature in full swing, prominent local legislators are saying the state's fiscal woes ought to take a back seat to any attempts to legalize same-sex marriage.
"We have to solve this so future legislatures don’t have to deal with this," Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-61A) said Monday.
Legislative leaders have been pushing a "go slow" approach.
"On the question of marriage freedom and marriage equality, I think most important for us is to engage in a continued conversation with Minnesotans and that has to happen both inside the Capitol and outside of the Capitol," Deputy Speaker of the House Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-64A) told MPR. "I really think the work of organizations like Minnesotans United in conducting that discussion with the people of Minnesota is going to set the tone and the pace for this issue in this legislative session and going forward for the state of Minnesota."
Even Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61), who plans to push for same-sex marriage this session, gave prominence to righting the state's finances in an interview with Patch last week.
"We have a structural imballance," he said. "The level of revenue is less than what’s needed for the most basic delivery of basic public services like education, transportation, and health care."
The issue would "undoubtedly" come up, he said, but "the $64,000 question is the timing and the context."
"What I hope is that we start down this path once the session is started," he explained. "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."
If you're a same-sex marriage supporter, should the new DFL majority be slow-walking this issue, given the overwhelming defeat voters handed to conservative forces in November's election?
If you're a same-sex marriage opponent, what do the results of the November election mean to you?