Skip to main content

House vote today on gay marriage; amendment could draw GOP support

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Big crowds and extra security are expected Thursday at the Minnesota Capitol, where House lawmakers are expected to vote on whether to legalize gay marriage. A Senate vote is expected Monday.

House members are preparing for what likely will be the most high-profile vote of the session, the culmination of several years of debate in the state and weeks of intense lobbying campaigns on both sides of the issue.

Among the lawmakers is DFL Rep. Joe Radinovich, who represents a district where 63 percent of voters are said to oppose gay marriage. Still, he plans to support the measure. "I'd rather have the voters be upset with me right now than for me to be upset with myself for the rest of my life for making the wrong decision," Radinovich told MPR.

House Speaker Paul Thissen and many other legislators say they believe that if the legislation is approved it will be considered a turning point in state history, the Star Tribune reports.

A word change in the gay marriage bill may open the door to some Republican support for the measure.

Republican Rep. David FitzSimmons of Albertville proposed an amendment that would use the phrase "civil marriage" throughout the bill. FitzSimmons tells MPR the phrase would emphasize that the bill affects only the government's recognition of marriage and that religious institutions would not be compelled to perform same-sex marriages.

Politics in Minnesota reports the change could attract the support of some Repuplican lawmakers.

The group at the forefront of the lobbying effort on behalf of the bill, Minnesotans United for All Families, supports FitzSimmons' proposal. The Associated Press reports the group's leader says he will urge support for the amendment.

House bill sponsor Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, assured gay-marriage supporters that the amendment language wouldn't undermine their goal by making it a lesser standard, the Pioneer Press reported. "It's not civil unions by any means," she said.

In a separate preview story, Politics in Minnesota called Thursday's roll call "the most watched vote the Minnesota House will take this year." Supporters say passage in the Senate is likely, but prospects in the House are more iffy. DFL Speaker Paul Thissen says the bill has enough support to pass, although PIM describes the atmosphere in the House this week as "markedly uneasy," with the issue being particularly thorny for rural Democrats.

Gov. Mark Dayton reaffirmed his support for recognizing same sex marriage Wednesday, calling it a "society-changing breakthrough moment."

The House floor session Thursday begins at noon. As many as 40 additional uniformed officers are expected at the Capitol, the Pioneer Press reports.

Next Up

ambulance

Motorcyclist killed on I-494 crash in Richfield

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified the victim as a 42-year-old Shakopee man.

013_kitchen

Gallery: This Seward Neighborhood gem SOLD fast!

Classic 1903 home came with modern updates

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Evacuations underway after explosion, fire on U of M campus

Evacuations are in effect on campus after an underground explosion and fire Thursday afternoon.

hopkins high school

‘Terrible prank’ during tornado drill causes scare at Hopkins High School

The school principal said the incident brought armed police to the school and "understandably caused some scholars anxiety."

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Woman admits to role in St. Paul man's gruesome murder

A 32-year-old Duluth woman has taken a plea deal in the case of a 34-year-old St. Paul man's murder.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

'Living nightmare’ alleged at Savage, Minn. rabbit sanctuary

"Peacebunny Cottage" is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation.

ambulance

Tractor tips on embankment, killing man in Kandiyohi County

The tractor reportedly tipped and fell on top of the man, pinning him underneath.

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin teams with Mike Golic Jr. for college football broadcasts

Martin, 33, lives in Minnesota and continues to climb the sports broadcasting ladder.

Melvin Carter

St. Paul plans to extend $500 payments to low-income families

The expansion would give more than 300 families a monthly payment of $500.

16362 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, Minnesota - October 2021 (4)

Use of car seat in crash that killed child still under investigation

The mother of the child was treated for injuries not considered to be life-threatening.

Related

Gay marriage supporters rallying

St. Paul-area Lutherans assembling in Burnsville, and separately, Gov. Mark Dayton and other activists holding "house parties" around the state, demonstrated their opposition to an amendment to the state Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.