Senate, House panels approve gay marriage bill on party line votes


Committees in the Minnesota House and Senate have approved a measure that would legalize gay marriage in the state.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-3 along party lines, with DFLers supporting the measure. Politics in Minnesota reports in nearly three hours of testimony the committee heard from a range of speakers on either side of the issue.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson, who chairs the Carlson Cos., testified that discriminating against same-sex couples hurts business recruitment. Earlier, a House committee heard from eleven-year-old Grace Evans, who testified that every Minnesota child should have both a mother and a father.

The House Civil Law Committee voted 10-7, also along party lines, in favor of the bill. The House sponsor, Minneapolis DFLer Karen Clark, said "It's time for us to do the right thing," the Pioneer Press reports.

The full House and Senate are not expected to vote on the measure for a few weeks.

Both opponents and supporters of the legislation have rallied at the Capitol recently.

Lobbyists on both sides of the issue are leaning heavily on lawmakers, focusing in particular on rural Democrats, MPR reports. MPR cites an example: Minnesotans United for All Families over the weekend had volunteers calling voters in the Willmar area, urging them to leave voicemail messages in support of gay marriage for Rep. Mary Sawatzky, DFL-Willmar.

"At this point, how can I argue with 69 percent in Willmar saying marriage is between one man and one woman?" Sawatzky said, MPR reported.

Gay marriage advocates hope to capitalize on a vote in the November election, when voters rejected a measure that would have cemented a same-sex marriage ban in the state constitution. But it's not clear that Minnesotans want to take the next step and legalize gay marriage in the state, critics of the bill say. A recent Star Tribune poll found that a majority of Minnesotans do not support legalizing gay marriage.

Next Up

dave chappelle

Dave Chappelle to perform at Target Center in Minneapolis

The comedian is screen his new documentary at part of the 10-city tour.

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 7.06.08 AM

U.S. soccer hero Megan Rapinoe signs her mural at St. Paul bar

Rapinoe paid a visit to The Black Hart ahead of a match at Allianz Field Tuesday.

hospital, emergency room

1 dead after married couple crash UTV in southern Minnesota

The crash happened just after 11 p.m. Saturday.

hmong college prep academy

St. Paul school superintendent offers to quit after $4.3M lost in hedge fund

The Office of the State Auditor recently released its investigative report on the school.


2 women die from injuries suffered in October 19 Hopkins crash

Both victims died at Hennepin Healthcare on Oct. 21.

Dean Evason

Wild fall flat against Predators, lose first game of season

The Wild couldn't stay out of the penalty box in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 10.11.36 AM

Search for Wisconsin woman whose vehicle was found near Hinckley

Ashley L. Miller, 33, was reported missing on Sep. 24 after her vehicle was found without her in it.

Dak Prescott

Report: Dak Prescott will be 'ready to go' for matchup with Vikings

The Dallas quarterback is expected to be available for next Sunday's showdown.

Eddie Rosario

Where Eddie Rosario's championship series heroics rank since 2000

The former Twin put together an all-timer to help the Braves reach the World Series.

plane, Piper PA-32

2 dead after plane crashes near residence in rural Wisconsin

The aircraft also struck the house during the crash.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 9.38.43 PM

1 dead after van crashes and lands on Highway 100 in Brooklyn Center

Northbound Highway 100 was shut down following the crash Saturday night.