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Minnesota GOP State Senator Says He'll Co-Sponsor Marriage Equality Bill, Wants to 'Do the Right Thing'

Minnesota GOP state senator Branden Petersen may soon be the first Republican co-sponsor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in that state, the Star Tribune reports:

PetersenHaving a Republican co-author would be an enormous political coup for same-sex marriage advocates as they prepare to unveil their proposal in the days ahead. Petersen would become the first Republican legislator to publicly support same-sex marriage, highlighting the rapidly changing dynamics of the issue at the Capitol.

“At this point, I am concerned about doing the right thing,” said Petersen, an Andover resident who is married and has two young children. “I have a certain amount of peace about that, and I will let the chips fall where they may.”

Petersen says he does have some requests however, before he signs on:

Petersen said he has several concerns that must be addressed before he will sign onto the measure. He wants to add language guaranteeing that any religious leader can choose not to wed same-sex couples. He also insists that kids in same-sex marriages have the same financial guarantees as children of other married couples in time of divorce.

“It’s only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal,” Petersen said. “I thought it was important to engage the issue now, and when we do it, do it right, and that there’s some perspective from the people I represent in that.”

Senator Scott Dibble, the bill's lead sponsor who said over the weekend that he planned to introduce the bill this week, says he sees no problem with Petersen's requests.

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  1. This is great news, just wish I could see Brian and Maggie's reaction as they realize their days are numbered (and so are there checks for bigotry)

    Posted by: RONTEX | Feb 20, 2013 2:21:43 PM

  2. What? A Republican caring about children?

    Posted by: Glenn I | Feb 20, 2013 2:25:49 PM

  3. I love how they always say they want to add language that guarantees a religious leader won't have to perform any marriages, like they would have to in the first place.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | Feb 20, 2013 2:28:31 PM

  4. Wow, so not only is he going to co-sponsor, but he wants to add language that will treat children of same sex marriage the same of those of opposite sex marriage during divorces. Are we sure he is a Republican?

    Posted by: KT | Feb 20, 2013 2:31:56 PM

  5. A Republican trying to get ahead of the mob in abandoning a sinking ship?

    Probably. But good for him anyhow.

    Posted by: K in VA | Feb 20, 2013 2:37:59 PM

  6. He's a Republican. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER trust a Republican.

    As soon as someone from the Catholic Church or some other right wing hate group waves some cash in his face this guy will jump ship and change sides.

    We cannot ever rely on Republican help. They always stab us in the back. We need to do this on our own.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Feb 20, 2013 4:26:39 PM

  7. @Icebloo:

    You're just as bad as them, so get over yourself.

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 20, 2013 4:48:45 PM

  8. I have to laugh at people whoa re so hyper-partisan that they just assume the worst, always, of the opposition and always assume the best of all their so-called allies...

    The writing is on the wall, and politically savvy Republicans that want a future for their party are going to change for the better.

    Partisan hacks hate it when this happens, often because it places the scrutiny back where it BELONGS, on our own so-called allies that drag their feet until the last possible minute.

    Neither part is perfect, and just because one sucks REALLY bad doesn't mean the other is flawless and not in dire need of reform also.

    So pull your collective partisan hack heads out.

    Posted by: Buckie | Feb 20, 2013 5:17:11 PM

  9. @Buckie: Exactly.

    Posted by: bostonian | Feb 20, 2013 6:30:21 PM

  10. A yes vote is a yes vote, a cosponsor is a cosponsor. You take both where you can get them and thank the legislator, whichever party he belongs to.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 20, 2013 8:48:37 PM

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