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.