Bill introduced to legalize gay marriagePublished by on
MINNESOTA - Lawmakers today introduced a bill that would legalize gay marriage in Minnesota. The event officially launched Round 2 of debate in the state over same-sex marriage. Last year, state voters rejected a measure that would have cemented a ban on gay marriage in Minnesota’s constitution. But gay marriage remains illegal in the state. Gov. Mark Dayton in his state of the state address last month voiced support for gay marriage, signaling he would sign the measure. If approved, gay marriage ceremonies could be legal in the state as early as August.
Lobbying groups on both sides of the debate are geared up for what likely will be an expensive fight, led by the pro-bill Minnesotans United for All Families and the leading group in opposition to the legislation, Minnesota For Marriage. The national group National Organization for Marriage has pledged to spend $500,000 to help defeat any Minnesota Republican who supports gay marriage.
Nine states have legalized gay marriage and many others ban it. Supporters of the legislation say the time is right to pursue it in Minnesota, and they point to a shift in attitudes nationwide about same-sex marriage. But bill foes say those backers are over-reaching, and they suggest that last year’s vote on the constitutional amendment does not mean that Minnesota is ready to legalize gay marriage.