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."

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  1. Churches don't have marriages. They have weddings.

    Posted by: Richard Harney | Apr 25, 2013 5:24:09 PM

  2. MuscleModel -- whatever you may believe, marriage has always been a secular institution. The Christian church didn't even accept it as a sacrament until 800 years ago, and marriages had been performed long before that -- and not always by priests.

    As for Rep. Norton's bill, that is, indeed, the worst possible "compromise."

    Posted by: Hunter | Apr 25, 2013 5:28:09 PM

  3. Ah yes, the time-honoured "We'll take our ball and go home" approach.


    Posted by: Randy | Apr 25, 2013 5:29:59 PM

  4. At the state level, this is a very clever tactic by Minnesota.

    Posted by: Adam | Apr 25, 2013 6:45:59 PM

  5. It's funny that the civil-unions-for-all "solution" only arises when gay couples enter the picture. Why weren't straight people making this argument years ago? After all, they've had this marriage/church thing to deal with for a long long time. What's changed to suddenly inspire this brilliant light bulb of an idea? Ah, we know ...

    The legal rights and responsibilities of marriage of nothing to do with the church, and civil marriage equality already protects religious liberty, so it's all nonsense, but most nonsensical of all is the idea that straight people are going to buy into having their marriages downgraded. Good luck with that! Get back to us when you're done.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 25, 2013 7:51:43 PM

  6. My mother Hates that my brother doesn't have a christian marriage" because they had the ceremony in a rented hall and didn't mention god. It was still legal.

    Posted by: Karl Winthrop | Apr 25, 2013 8:07:39 PM

  7. We wouldn't even be having this convoluted clusterfuck if gays weren't trying to hone in on the institution of marriage in the first place. Once upon a time it was ILLEGAL for people of the same gender to have sex. It isn't anymore. Can't you all be happy with that, instead of whining like Jan Brady?

    And I don't believe for 2 seconds that it would stop at City Hall. That's just a manipulative snowjob to get it legalized now. it would only a matter of time before they start trying to force churches to do it too. Gays hate being excluded from ANYTHING, so if the law (look at the BSA) so if the law said "churches can reject marrying gay couples," gays will soon start barking up that tree too!

    Posted by: Aggravated American | Apr 25, 2013 8:11:19 PM

  8. Marriage existed as a legal matter in the Roman empire long before the Christian churches came along.

    Posted by: Fester | Apr 25, 2013 8:55:39 PM

  9. So let's see: Everyone can get a Civil Union, then you go to your church for a "marriage" so you can get the federal benefits. And gay couples can go to the churches that will perform a same-sex marriage (of which there are several). No problem, everyone gets all the benefits without the state legislators having to have the guts to vote for "gay marriage." And the only people to lose out on benefits are...atheists! Brilliant.

    Posted by: nzchicago | Apr 25, 2013 11:45:29 PM

  10. How about issuing a marriage/civil union license? Then the religious nuts can say (in church) that it is just a civil union and your accountant or lawyer can point to the word "marriage" with regard to tax laws or federal benefits.

    Or, whether it counts as a marriage or civil union depends on a document signed by the person doing the ceremony. If you want a non-religious ceremony to make it a marriage, you should be able to get it, or a religious ceremony from a church/whatnot that supports same-sex marriages.
    If the IRS asks why there is the same license for both, you just say "paperwork reduction - states have the same fiscal issues as the federal government and are trying to cut costs by focusing on trivialities."

    It's silly and all just smoke and mirrors, of course, but maybe that's enough to get the religious nuts to STFU.

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 26, 2013 1:38:02 AM

  11. Aggravated American: Yes, gods forbid that gays should want to be treated like anyone else. Apparently, we don't know our place.

    And it occurs to me that leaving "marriage" to churches, without massive changes to federal law, is a violation of the Establishment Clause.

    Posted by: Hunter | Apr 26, 2013 7:30:28 AM

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