Gay marriage bill passes House, Senate committees. What's next?
As predicted by many, bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota passed key committees in the House and Senate Tuesday.
Photo: Youtube Screenshot. Sen. Scott Dibble, chief author of the Senate bill, presenting a photo of a boy raised in a same-sex household in closing remarks.
After almost three hours of testimonies and discussion, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-3 in favor of the bill just before 3 p.m. The House Civil Law Committee followed suit a few hours later, moving the bill forward by 10-7 vote.
In case you missed it, here are a few short clips of some of the most interesting moments of the day, via The Uptake:
1. Former GOP lawmaker Lynne Osterman, who once voted for DOMA, testified in favor of same-sex marriage, confessing she has always regretted voting to limit marriage rights. "Voting no today, this session, might seem politically expedient," she said. "But I can tell you from experience that you will have to live knowing that a no vote is not fair, it's not respectful, and it's not equal."
2. Just before the Senate committee voted, Sen. Dan Hall criticized the rhetoric used by gay-marriage supporters toward opponents like himself. "One testifier said if I don't agree with same-sex marriage, and that I must be a bully," said Hall. "'That's bullying,' she said. So I don't agree with it, so I'm a bully? So they're already name calling? I have a problem with that."
3. In an emotional testimony, two parents talked about wanting to see their youngest son, Jacob, get married one day. "We love Jacob so very much," said mother Randi Reitan. "We come today to you as a family, with dreams. Dreams that one day soon Minnesota will be a state that grants our son Jacob the freedom to marry. We want for Jacob what has been so precious to us for 40 years. We want Jacob to have the joy of a wedding."
Watch more testimonies here.
Now that the bills have passed the key committee hurdles, the most crucial battle is still ahead, but we're likely going to see a break from the gay marriage debate in the meantime. Lawmakers plan to spend the next few weeks working on budget issues, so same-sex marriage likely won't go to a full Senate or House vote until mid-to-late April.
If the Legislature does ultimately vote to legalize gay marriage, Gov. Mark Dayton says he would sign the bill into law, meaning same-sex weddings could begin in Minnesota by late summer.