Gay marriage debate will continueOrganizations that took the lead in an election fight to ban gay marriage will keep working as Minnesota lawmakers debate the issue, and even debate whether to debate the issue.
By: Don Davis and Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Organizations that took the lead in an election fight to ban gay marriage will keep working as Minnesota lawmakers debate the issue, and even debate whether to debate the issue.
Minnesotans United for All Families will continue its work to legalize gay marriage while the leader of anti-gay marriage Minnesota for Marriage says that group needs to keep up the fight, too.
On Nov. 6, voters defeated an attempt to outlaw gay marriage in the state Constitution. But the ban remains in state law.
Democratic leaders generally support gay marriage, but have hesitated embracing a law change in 2013.
The November vote only meant that “people don’t want to stop that discussion fully,” House Speaker-designate Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said. “They don’t want to lock into our state Constitution a definition of marriage.”
Discussions need to continue, he said. In the meantime, the U.S. Supreme Court plans to take up a gay marriage case that could overrule anything Minnesota does. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he knows bills will be introduced to allow gay marriage, but he does not favor that debate in the legislative session beginning Jan. 8.
“The more pressing thing probably this session is the budget,” Bakk said.
Chairman John Helmberger of Minnesota for Marriage is not buying DFLers’ talk.
“Don’t be fooled by the public statements made by the majority leaders in our new Legislature,” Helmberger wrote in a fundraising appeal to gay marriage opponents.
“Right now, gay marriage activists are pressing our new Legislature and their ally Gov. Dayton to redefine marriage, just as we warned would happen throughout the amendment campaign.”
Indeed, pro-gay marriage groups are looking at how they can overturn the ban.
An Associated Press study showed that more than a quarter of the state’s 201 legislators live in districts that voted opposite how their parties stand on the marriage issue (Democrats generally in favor of gay marriage and Republicans opposed). That leaves a big question mark on how legislators might vote on the issue.