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

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.

ambulance

Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.

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.