Minnesota, home to Congresswoman Michele Bachman – who grew her career on the backs of LGBT citizens being denied marriage – just got a same-sex marriage bill to debate. State Senator Scott Dibble and Rep. Karen Clark (image), both Democrats, have introduced marriage equality to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, just months after voters rejected a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. “This is a day that Minnesotans should be very proud of,” Senator Dibble, a Minneapolis Democrat who is a chief sponsor of the bill, the Star Tribune reports:
“Our challenge in coming weeks is that we really have this discussion with renewed energy, about why marriage matters, why family matters.”
Dibble also reportedly stated, “It’s going to be a lot of hard work. My message is for folks to engage,” and “We’re affirming things that we all prize, love at the center of marriage.”
— JCA MN (@JCA_MN) February 27, 2013
Minnesotans United Campaign Manager Richard Carlbom said, via a statement:
In Minnesota, we don’t turn our backs on family – and this legislation will make that statement as true as possible. No Minnesotan should be singled out and excluded from enjoying a basic freedom, like the freedom to marry the person they love, just because of who they are. There is no substitute for the unique promise of love and commitment inherent to marriage, and it is time for Minnesota state law to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples.
The Tribune adds:
Passage remains far from certain, however. DFL legislative leaders said the budget fight remains their top priority and have not committed to bringing up the marriage issue for a floor vote.
In the last couple weeks, Republican Sen. Branden Peterson of Andover said he would support the measure, the first GOP member to do so. This week, Republican former State Auditor Pat Anderson said she supported Petersen and same-sex marriage.
Petersen had meetings in his district and could not attend the news conference, but issued a statement expressing his strong support.
“As a strong proponent of limited government, conservative principles and individual liberty, I am proud to add my name as co-author of legislation to secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Minnesota,” he said.
If same-sex marriage becomes law, the weddings could begin in August.
— Project 515 (@Project_515) February 27, 2013
NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, is “promising $500,000 to campaign against Republicans who support marriage equality in Minnesota and support Democrats who oppose it,” as Zack Ford at Think Progress reports:
In a press release announcing the commitment to bullying, NOM’s Brian Brown specifically called out Sen. Branden Petersen (R) for endorsing the marriage equality effort, claiming that the issue is all about protecting children:
BROWN: Republicans like Branden Petersen don’t realize that not only is voting to redefine marriage a terrible policy, it is also a career-ending vote for a Republican. NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage. Legislators need look no further than what happened to GOP Senators in New York. Four of them were responsible for passing gay marriage. We helped take out three of those Senators by repeatedly informing their constituents of their betrayal on marriage. They are now out of office. We will not hesitate to do the same thing in Minnesota.
We urge Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature to vote their values, and not what their party bosses tell them. Standing for true marriage is the right thing to do for Minnesota families, and especially for children. The fact is that Minnesota children, and all children, have a right to expect laws that promote them being raised by a mother and father. We will support those legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike, who vote for Minnesota family values, just as we have done in other states. Marriage is not a partisan issue, and NOM does not hesitate to oppose weak Republicans and support strong Democrats.
Image by Minnesotans United, via Twitter
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