Minnesota Senate Panel Advances Marriage Equality Bill in 5-3 Vote

The Minnesota State Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-3 this afternoon to advance a marriage equality bill to the full Senate for a vote, Minnesotans United reports:

DibbleSenate File 925, authored by Senator Scott Dibble (pictured) and co-authored by Senators John Marty, Branden Petersen, Tony Lourey and Terri Bonoff, would remove limitations on marriage for same-sex couples from Minnesota state law, while also protecting the important religious freedoms of clergy and faith institutions to practice their religious beliefs free from government interference or persecution.

Minnesotans United Campaign Manager Richard Carlbom released the following statement upon passage of SF925 through the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“This is truly a historic day for Minnesota and a victory for all Minnesotans. The passage of this comprehensive legislation today signals a turning point in our state’s history, and we look forward to seeing Senate File 925 come to the floor of the Minnesota Senate for a full vote. What the Senate Judiciary members proved today – and what we heard from numerous testifiers who spoke passionately in support of this legislation – is that marriage is defined by the love, commitment and responsibility that two people share. Minnesotans want to see our shared values represented in our state law, and those values simply do not include excluding some people from having the freedom to marry and pursue happiness just because of who they are. It is time to extend the freedom to marry to the thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples who ask for nothing more than to be treated fairly and equally by their government.”

A Minnesota House panel is also considering the bill today. We saw testimony from that hearing earlier here and here. We'll update, of course, when we hear news.