Wednesday morning, Minnesota legislators introduced a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Watch the announcement on Patch, courtesy of TheUptake.
At 10 a.m., Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61) and Reps. Karen Clark (DFL-62A) and Steve Simon (DFL-46B) will join Rabbi Michael Latz from Shir Tikvah synagogue and United Church of Christ leader Rev. Karen Smith Sellers to formally announce the introduction of a legalization bill. All five were prominent leaders in the defeat of a 2012 state constitutional amendment seeking to ban same-sex marriage.
The legislation is co-authored by state Sen. Branden Peterson, a freshman Republican senator from Andover who represents District 35 in Anoka County. National same-sex marriage opponents have vowed to unseat Peterson if he goes ahead with his sponsorship of the bill.
“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,” National Organization for Marriage head Brian Brown said in a statement emailed to reporters. “NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage."
In the same announcement, NOM pledged $500,000 to unseat any Republican who supported same-sex marriage, and to support any Democrat who opposed same-sex marriage with an equal amount of money.
Legalization opponents recently floated a "counter offer" that would create a special class of legal partnerships, as between an adult serving as their sibling's caretaker, that same-sex couples could also access. The proposal only would grant same-sex couples a fraction of the rights included in civil marriage, and has been unpopular with same-sex marriage advocates.
Same-sex marriage advocates have so far been bullish about their chances for passing the bill and are trying to turn the network of volunteers who helped defeat the 2012 amendment into a tool to get same-sex marriage legalization passed.
Fridley's representatives in St. Paul, Sen. Barb Goodwin and Rep. Connie Bernardy (both DFL), have said they believed their constituents wanted the legislature to tackle economic- and job-related bills before taking up same-sex marriage.