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LIVE VIDEO: Same-Sex Marriage Bill to Be Announced Today

Opponents vow half-million dollar offensive to counter legalization.

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Wednesday morning, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park legislators are scheduled to introduce a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Watch the announcement live on Patch, courtesy of TheUptake! Tune in to this webpage at 10 a.m.

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 Southwest Minneapolis' 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. Brad Peterson (R-35). 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.

Dan Johnson February 28, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Marriage it is a fundamental right of all persons. The only eligibility requirement for fundamental rights is being human. Reasonable restrictions may be made only when a compelling and legitimate governmental interest can withstand judicial scrutiny. Most can agree with the courts that reasonable restrictions include age, ability to demonstrate informed consent, and not being closely related or currently married. Gender is not a restriction. There is no legitimate governmental interest served by requiring one of each. Procreation ability has never been a requirement for marriage, and therefore fails as a legitimate excuse for denial of equal treatment under the law. Yet even that irrational excuse for discrimination ignores the fact that gay people can and do reproduce, and are raising children either biologically related or adopted. Denial of equal treatment under the law provides no benefit to opposite sex couple families. It only harms same sex couple families needlessly.
Dan Johnson February 28, 2013 at 12:28 AM
The Supreme Court ruled on the matter of "separate but equal" in the 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education. The court recognized that "separate but equal" opportunities created a feeling of inferiority for the minorities being segregated, and that this feeling of segregation could cause permanent emotional injury. The Ca. Supreme Court found "While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of same sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children. (p.117) Additionally, the court found "the statutory provisions that continue to limit access to this designation exclusively to opposite sex couples likely will be viewed as an official statement that the family relationship of same sex couples is not of comparable stature or equal dignity to the family relationship of opposite-sex couples." (p.118 In re Marriage Cases) Additionally, Dr. Chris Beyrer, the founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights, said denying same sex couples the right to marry harms community health: "We know for certain that lesbian and gay individuals suffer harm to their physical and psychological health, and to their relationships and quality of life, as result of the shame, isolation and stigma accrued from their social and legal disenfranchisement."
Steeplewood February 28, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Everyone living in MN deserves the right to marry the one person they love and have a life together. It really is that simple.

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