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Minnesota Holds First-Ever Hearings on Marriage Equality Bills

Hearings on three pro-marriage equality bills that some activists had criticized as "show hearings" (because the bills aren't expected to leave committee) were held today at the Minnesota Capitol:

Minnesota "A proposal introduced by Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis, would allow two consenting adults to enter into 'civil union contracts,' regardless of their gender. Another bill, put forth by Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states as legally valid in Minnesota. But the most far-reaching legislation would legalize gay marriage by removing gender-based terminology in existing state statute. The measure was introduced by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, more than a year ago and has 22 other Democratic co-sponsors. Kahn noted in advocating for the bill that she’s probably been married longer than any other current legislator at the Capitol."

The hearings were the first-ever in Minnesota on legalizing same-sex marriage: "It is uncertain whether there will be any vote at all on gay marriage this year in the Minnesota House or Senate. Some opponents questioned whether social bills are important this year considering all the work that needs to be done on the budget."

Watch some brief footage from the hearings here.

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  1. Some opponents questioned whether social bills are important this year considering all the work that needs to be done on the budget."
    Gee, if gay marriages or civil unions were allowed in Minnesota, I wonder if they would still feel the same way. I imagine not.

    Posted by: Zach | Feb 22, 2010 10:09:41 PM


  2. The dems in MN are generally just talk talk and never actually accomplish anything (like dems everywhere). Even if they did vote and pass something the gov would veto it. He has made it very clear the GLBT citizens of Minnesota will get no new rights if he has anything to say about it. He even vetoed anti-bullying law for GLBT children.

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 23, 2010 12:26:55 AM


  3. "Some opponents questioned whether social bills are important this year considering all the work that needs to be done on the budget."

    I hope that the Pro Equality forces have done cost studies to show the potential for new sources of revenue if Mn allows Equal marriage. I bet it's substantial.

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Feb 23, 2010 1:02:08 AM


  4. "The dems in MN are generally just talk talk and never actually accomplish anything (like dems everywhere)."

    While I disagree with your assertion, wouldn't nothing be better than the affirmative harm being done to us regularly by Republicans? Minnesota is one of fewer than 20 States whose constitution does not include an anti-gay provision regarding marriage. That is only true (as in similar States) because, despite the best efforts of Republicans to pass such an amendment during years when there would have been substantial support among voters for doing so, Democrats in the state legislature blocked those efforts. Sometimes, blocking anti-gay initiatives and anti-gay Republican judges and other nominees, or securing confirmation for pro-equality judges, can be as if not more important than delivering on other issues about which you are frustrated by a lack of progress.

    I note that every single one of the ten DFLers (Democrats) running for their party's nomination for Governor in this year's election is a supporter of marriage equality and one of the leading contenders, former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, appeared at a recent rally at the State Capital in support of marriage equality. While I wouldn't expect movement on marriage equality in 2011 in Minnesota even if we manage to elect a DFL governor to replace the awful incumbent Republican homophobe, our only shot of advancing the issue in Minnesota in the next four years (absent a favorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Perry v. Schwarzennegger) is by making sure we defeat the Republicans.

    Posted by: Patric | Feb 23, 2010 1:21:18 PM


  5. Nobody really expects a vote on this bill in 2010. This is just to begin the process of building support for when Minnesota has a pro equality Democratic governor, which I hope will be next year.

    Posted by: Ken | Feb 23, 2010 9:25:49 PM


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