Minnesota Could Have Marriage Equality by Sunday

As we've been reporting, Minnesota is suddenly on a fast-track to marriage equality, with a vote in the House scheduled for tomorrow.

MinnesotaHow do things look? Very good.

House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he believes the 73-member DFL majority has the 68 votes needed to pass the bill allowing same-sex couples to wed, even without a single Republican vote.

As of late Tuesday, no GOP House members have said publicly they would vote "yes."

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders say they also have the votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill, and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton says he'll sign it.

The Star Tribune reports:

Legislators are getting pounded with e-mails, calls and visits from constituents on every side of the issue. Daily visits from the swarms of lobbyists on both sides are now the norm. Rep. Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids, on Monday got an e-mail with the subject line: “Don’t mess with marriage in Minnesota!” The message pleaded with Newton to refrain from putting “the desires of a small group ahead of the fundamental human rights of all children.”

Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, is among a rare breed at the Capitol these days, a lawmaker undecided on the issue. “It’s just a very, very personal issue for people,” he said. “It’s really unlike any other issue at the Capitol these days.”

Freshman Rep. Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake, also continues to wrestle with the issue. The retired schoolteacher said that a neighbor on one side supports same-sex marriage and his other neighbor strongly opposes it. Both are former students.

McNamar said he will likely make up his mind on the issue the moment of the final vote.

If the House passes the bill and it moves on to the Senate, that body could vote on it as early as Saturday.


  1. guynyc says

    All these states and there’s still 25 states with constitutional amendments saying marriage is between a man and a woman…disconcerting.

  2. Michael says

    Poor Michelle Bachmann. She must be in a dither. Marcus is probably beside himself. Oh the glory! Good luck MN! We’re rootin’ for ya, you betcha!

  3. jpeckjr says

    True enough, guynyc. On the other hand, keep in mind that only 15 years ago, no state had marriage equality. Minnesota voters last November rejected one of those constitutional amendments, and, to their credit, the legislature did not “test the waters” for several more years.

  4. BRAINS says

    “The fundamental rights of all children”, must state unequivocally that all parents and families must be treated equally under state and Federal Law!

    The bigots need to refrain from their desperate illogical arguments!

  5. Francis #1 says

    I read Minnesota has somewhere around 64 yes votes assured, that at least two others are seemingly going to be yes votes, and Paul Thissen said there were several House representatives that were on the fence still. I also read David Dill wasn’t going to be there tomorrow and he’s seen as a yes vote. Is that bad, how close are the numbers? Also will Minnesota for sure will all NON rural Democrats because a handful of those haven’t announced a position.

    What’s going on with the civil union bill in the state, is that getting any traction? Another swing vote in Kim Norton is sponsoring that legislation and not marriage because she felt that represented legitimate compromise.

    Hopefully it passes, I think it will solely because they put it to vote and they wouldn’t have done so if they didn’t think they had the votes. They must feel they will peel off House Democrats on the floor. Or they’ll gain a Republican. Anyone in Minnesota able to give an update?

  6. simon says

    Things get moving quickly these few days. R.I, Delaware and now Minnesota. Is it because of summer? Poor Brian Brown. Poor Holy Seet.

  7. Mary says

    Good luck MN! We’re rootin’ for ya, you betcha

    You betcha? Michael, have you converted Sarah Palin to the marriage equality cause?

  8. Eric says

    A few things …

    1) Vote in Senate now not scheduled until Monday.
    2) The wording of the bill may change to “civil marriage” (which is still distinct from “civil unions,” presumably).
    3) Even after Gov. Dayton’s signature, it wouldn’t go into effect until August 1st.

  9. Francis #1 says

    So I’m reading that they’re considering tweaking the bill so as to gain Republican support. Does that mean they don’t currently have the votes with purely Democrats? Or are they looking for backup votes? Anyone knows what’s going on in Minnesota?

  10. Francis #1 says

    OK, you explained what’s going on Eric. Do you live in/know what’s happening in Minnesota? It can’t be a good omen that they need to tweak the bill because that’s a sign they still don’t have the votes or that some are still lukewarm.

  11. Eric says

    The head of Minnesotans United (main lobby group backing the bill) told the Star Tribune yesterday that they were being conservative about their numbers before sending the bill to the floor for a vote — the phrase “double- and triple-checked” was invoked.

    My hunch is that the tweak/amendment (which could still get shot down tomorrow) is less about securing the last iffy votes and possibly more an attempt to get some across-the-aisle cherries on top.

  12. Francis #1 says

    Thank you, Eric. Well than that’s awesome news! I hope this proposed amendment doesn’t pass, though, because there is already enough to placate the right-wing religious types in the current bill. Adding extra “religious protections” is essentially watering the bill down.

    How great that we’re less than a day away to likely see Minnesota pass marriage equality! I’m sure Michele Bachmann is going mad.

  13. JONES says

    “the desires of a small group ahead of the fundamental human rights of all children.”

    More along the lines of the fundamental human rights of a minority group subjected to the bigotry of religious lunacy.

    My civil rights are not subject to your secular dogma.

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