Gay Marriage | Minnesota | News

New Minnesota Bill Would Give Everyone Civil Unions, Gay and Straight, Leaving Marriage to Churches

A new bill set for introduction in Minnesota would redefine marriage in the state as a civil union for all couples, ABC6 reports:

MinnesotaA new version of the civil union bill is said to go for its first reading Thursday at the Minnesota capitol. It would make civil unions for everyone, gay or straight, and leave the term marriage specifically for churches...

That definition of marriage has been a constant battle at the state capital. There's a bill in support of same-sex marriage, one suggesting civil unions for gay couples, and now a bill putting civil unions in place of marriage for everyone.

"It makes certain that every Minnesotan couple gets a civil union in the state of Minnesota and that marriages are left to the churches that are offering them," said Rep. Norton. She says she'll be signing onto the new legislation because this way everyone will be treated equally under Minnesota law. "Some people have goten hurt by my decision to sign this on, but as I think I’ve shared with you before, I have not found a majority of folks in my community with one opinion."

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. A libertarian (member of the Free State Project) in NH tried this a couple of years ago. It seemed no one else wanted to break it to Grandma and Grandpa that they weren't married any more. It also seemed that folks weren't keen on the idea of being bilked of their Social Security retirement benefits by dumbassed state legislators.

    If no such thing as civil marriage existed, Rep. Norton might have a point. But - hey - it does! My second wedding (of 3 - I give hetero marriage a BAD name) was performed by a justice of the peace.

    More false equivalence and straw.

    Posted by: susanthe | Apr 25, 2013 2:36:25 PM

  2. Too funny! Do they not realize that the federal government does not recognize civil unions (regardless of the gender of those involved)? The real benefits to being married come at the federal level - more than 1152 of them. And they hinge on the word 'married'. I wonder how the Minnesotans who opted to get hitched at City Hall instead of a church would feel about having no federal benefits. I guess they'd feel like gays do. Pissed about the inequality of it.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Apr 25, 2013 2:42:57 PM

  3. I don't see how this would work with regard to the federal government, which does not recognize civil unions. Would all of these couples be without federal marriage benefits? I'm guessing that would be a deal breaker for the bill.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Apr 25, 2013 2:45:03 PM

  4. This is what happens when we leave it up to the states to make decisions on matters that are universal for all citizens. It is a slippery slope to mass confusion.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 25, 2013 2:51:11 PM

  5. Sorry but no church has a monopoly on the word marriage.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 25, 2013 2:55:32 PM

  6. Unfortunate the votes still aren't there quite yet on marriage in Minnesota. With that being said, this isn't an acceptable compromise and it's not realistically going to work. We'll see if it gains traction or not.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 25, 2013 2:56:37 PM

  7. *sigh*

    Teabaggers and their crazy Un-American ideas, yet they blame US for 'debasing' marriage.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Apr 25, 2013 2:59:07 PM

  8. Giving 'marriage' to churches ... they'll have to pry that dictionary page from my cold dead hands.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 25, 2013 2:59:57 PM

  9. Seems they're taking advice on compromise positions from the Boy Scouts governing board. Not the best idea, folks.

    Posted by: Thomas | Apr 25, 2013 3:00:49 PM

  10. This would have made a lot of sense ... 225 years ago.

    Posted by: Rexford | Apr 25, 2013 3:03:11 PM

  11. Why are people such idiots? There are plenty of churches which would support marriage equality... this does absolutely nothing. People should stop with the madness of tying themselves into a prezel to prevent marriage equality. Ugh!

    Posted by: Gerry | Apr 25, 2013 3:07:39 PM

  12. "Leaving marriage to the churches" is ridiculous. Marriage is not exclusive to Christians.
    The weddings I've attended in my life so far have been all over the map as far as what kind of ceremony they chose. I've attended the weddings of Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, and agnostics and atheists, etc. (and often a combination within the couple). Even many of the Christians who married Christians did so in a park or a community hall or a hotel courtyard or in their own home or in a regal old theatre, and many of the Christians did NOT have religious ceremonies or have it conducted by a clergyman.

    Nobody should be told "Oh, you can't have your wedding in a synagogue because the government says it's up to churches now."
    It's none of the government's business where a wedding is held..
    The only advantage I could imagine to even starting this conversation is that if straight couples who are on the fence about equsl rights realized everything they would stand to lose if they were not allowed a state-, federally-, and internationally-recognized marriage, they would finally understand what we mean when we say that it is "more than just a word."

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 25, 2013 3:07:57 PM

  13. All of your good points bring a question to mind. Since there is going to be tampering with definition(s) no matter what, is it possible the Supreme Court outcome might be to extend marriage-equivalent benefits on the federal level to not only marriages, but also to anything termed a civil union (and maybe even to domestic partnerships)? Then this Minnesota idea might have some validity.

    Posted by: CAnaivePete | Apr 25, 2013 3:14:47 PM

  14. Truthfully, I would rather see Civil Unions passed in states with a bare majority support than nothing at all - all while hoping that the Supreme Court rules that separate but equal is once again unequal and anything similar to marriage should be called just that, marriage. This would double the amount of states with same-sex marriage.

    If the Supreme Court doesn't make a decision like that by July, then we can officially dump Civil Unions as a compromise and go for the end goal of Marriage Equality.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 25, 2013 3:14:54 PM

  15. Yet there are many churches willing to do same sex how do they fit in?

    Posted by: Mz | Apr 25, 2013 3:17:05 PM

  16. This whole "getting government out of the marriage business" business is moronic; however, it's not actually not all that bad for us, mostly because it kinda makes all of our arguments for us. If a state ever *were* to implement civil unions for all, a whole lot of straight people would figure out pretty quickly why civil marriage is such a good thing for everybody... and also why churches are piss poor sources of good governance.

    Posted by: Steven H | Apr 25, 2013 3:22:57 PM

  17. More special rights for religious nuts. Marriage is *already* a civil contract and has been so in America since Colonial times. Even the ultra-theocratic Puritans set it up that way.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 25, 2013 3:23:57 PM

  18. This "solution" is something that's been thrown out by right-wingers as a compromise position every once in a while, even by the blabbermouths at Fox News.

    Now watch. They'll be screaming like scalded cats about it!

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 25, 2013 3:31:51 PM

  19. Don't want it. Marriage only. No compromise.

    Posted by: RMc | Apr 25, 2013 3:34:30 PM

  20. This is a fair compromise and offers us the rights of a civil marriage with equality. We should not and cannot demand that every society and every state accept our unions a marriages. It is as unfair to force our conception of marriage down their throats as it is for them to force their religion down ours. All we can ask for is equality under the law and this compromise achieves that. Straight couples as well as gay couples will be treated exactly the same.

    Posted by: HkFca | Apr 25, 2013 4:09:22 PM

  21. Well, I suppose this is one clever way to get heterosexuals to understand the importance of the word "marriage", but it seems kinda mean to trick 'em into thinking a civil unions means much. The feds ignore them. Most states ignore them. They're useless overseas in most countries.

    Bonanza for the insurance companies, though.

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 25, 2013 4:13:28 PM

  22. Actually HkFca, no it doesn't. One of the ongoing problems in states where "civil unions" are allowed is that they are in a gray area of the law and even corporate rules. "You're civil unioned? How nice. We only give benefits to couples who are MARRIED."

    It's a nightmare of bureaucracy and red tape.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 25, 2013 4:24:35 PM

  23. I have a very complicated opinion on the issue. Even though this is a way for some people against gay marriage to "appease" gays, theoretically, I like the idea of civil unions for all. I think that marriage is a religious institution, and some people have relationships that do not fit the mold dictated by traditional religious or straight...thus, a "civil union" may be a more appropriate term. However, would you still use the words "husband" and "wife"? It may get confusing / awkward in regards to the wording...

    Posted by: | Apr 25, 2013 4:35:22 PM

  24. How do these people get elected? How is it that everyone reading this article knows what this woman does not? They just make things up as they go.....

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Apr 25, 2013 4:46:50 PM

  25. The bigger issue is the false premise that marriage should be 'one size fits all.' People want and need different levels of commitment in relationships. Having two or three levels of marriage and commitment for all adults would better meet the reality of adult relationships. Churches would still be free to recognize that they will or none of the above.

    Posted by: Dave C. | Apr 25, 2013 4:49:48 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «The Boy Scouts Made It Worse« «