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Sen. Barb Goodwin 'Hesitant' but Backs MN Gay-Marriage Bill

With 'yes' vote from Fridley's senator, the MN Senate Judiciary Committee sent same-sex marriage bill to full Senate on 5-3 vote. A House committee later followed suit with its version.

A "yes" vote from Fridley's state Senator, Barb Goodwin (DFL-Columbia Heights), helped move a same-sex marriage bill from committee Tuesday to the full Senate. (Click on YouTube from The UpTake to see her comments, or watch them at YouTube.com.)

The Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate File 925, a bill extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, on a party-line 5-3 vote Tuesday afternoon.

Update: The Minnesota House of Representatives Civil Law Committee heard testimony and debated the House version of the bill Tuesday, approving it late Tuesday night. Lawmakers said they would likely set the bills aside for a while to focus on the budget, according to WCCO. (See "Ex-Legislator: 'I Blew My Vote' on Gay Marriage.")

Goodwin restated misgivings about advancing the bill when its fate is uncertain:

I just have to say that there has been some media about me being reluctant on this bill and hesitation on this bill.

And I am hesitant. And I'm not hesitant for the reasons that I don't support same-sex marriage. Because I'm an extremely strong supporter of same-sex marriage.

My concern is that we need to make sure that when this goes on the [Senate] floor, that we have enough votes to pass it. I don't want us to fail. I don't want to think that this was brought up to soon.

I don't want to discredit the people that went out and voted against their own religious beliefs and their own morals to not get this in the [Minnesota] Constitution because they just knew that wasn't the right thing to do. And that doesn't necessarily mean an acceptance of gay marriage.

And I do believe that we're going to have gay marriage in Minnesota, and the sooner the better.

I just want you to know that's what my hesitation is, to be respectful to all.

Goodwin then mentioned her effort two years ago to tack a ban on all divorces onto anti-gay-marriage amendment legislation.

To watch video of the committee's discussion and vote on the bill, click on the  video at the top of this post or watch it at the UpTake's Livestream webpage.

A highlight of the debate was extended back-and-forth between opponent Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) and .

Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville) spoke against the bill, saying he was a nice guy—not a "bigot" as some have called him—but, he said, he has an opinion.

Sen. Ron Latz, a DFLer who represents Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Plymouth, chairs the committee.

Also voting against the bill was Sen. Julianne Ortmann, a Republican whose district includes Chaska and Chanhassen.

Also voting in favor were DFLers Richard Cohen of St. Paul, Kathy Sheran of Mankato, and Kari Dziedzic of Minneapolis.

Related from the Minnesota House of Representatives, March 12, 2013:

  • VIDEO: Ex-Plymouth Legislator: 'I Blew My Vote' on Gay Marriage

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