Latz, Simon Help Gay Marriage Bills Through Committees

The MN Senate Judiciary Committee sent a same-sex marriage bill to the full Senate on a 5-3 vote, and just hours later, the House Civil Law Committee approved the companion bill 10-7.

District 46 legislators Sen. Ron Latz and Rep. Steve Simon are among the state legislators who helped send a pair of same-sex marriage bills to the Senate and House floors Tuesday.

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

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. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) also co-authored the bill, along with Dibble and three other state senators. She wrote this recently in one of her weekly Capitol Updates:

This legislation includes language that clarifies the proposed change is permissive not restrictive, i.e. does not require clergy to marry same sex couples. While I am focused on issues related to job growth, education and the economy as well as operational effectiveness, I was honored to be asked to co-author this bill. I accepted this request on behalf of those who believe the time has come for the privilege of marriage to be shared by all (a belief I hold).

I understand that while many in my community share this view, there are also many who do not. Please understand, I respect our differing views and welcome the dialogue.

Just hours later, the House Civil Law Committee, on which Simon sits, voted 10-7 to pass legislation that would grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry as soon as August 1.

House File 1054, authored by Representative Karen Clark and co-authored by 22 other members of the Minnesota House, would remove limitations on marriage for same-sex couples from Minnesota state law, while also protecting the religious freedoms of clergy and faith institutions to practice their religious beliefs free from government interference or persecution.

Michael Hindin March 14, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Equal protection under the law is a founding principle in our Constitution although it has taken much toil and blood to bring it about imperfectly for slaves, former slaves, their descendents and other minority groups. Now we are one step closer for gay individuals and existing gay families. There can be no denial that there are existing gay families and that no law or religious edict will change that fact. Children of gay parents deserve the the same full protection and support of the law as other children. Marriage equality will only add to the strength and stability of our families, their children and our community. Keep up the good work, Senator Latz and Representative Simon.
David Cobb March 14, 2013 at 02:43 PM
I agree, Mike, the 14th Amendment applies. The gender of the couple shouldn't impose restrictions on how a family is treated under the law. I'd challenge anyone to read all 515 Minnesota statutes that grant privileges and assign responsibilities to married couples and name which ones they would deny their own child if that child were gay.
Dan Johnson March 19, 2013 at 04:19 PM
"In the court’s final analysis, the government’s only basis for supporting DOMA comes down to an apparent belief that the moral views of the majority may properly be enacted as the law of the land in regard to state-sanctioned same-sex marriage in disregard of the personal status and living conditions of a significant segment of our pluralistic society. Such a view is not consistent with the evidence or the law as embodied in the Fifth Amendment with respect to the thoughts expressed in this decision. The court has no doubt about its conclusion: ...DOMA deprives them of the equal protection of the law to which they are entitled."
Dan Johnson March 19, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Ca Supreme Court: "it is instructive to recall in this regard that the traditional, well-established legal rules and practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interracial marriage, (2) upheld the routine exclusion of women from many occupations and official duties, and (3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to separate and assertedly equivalent public facilities and institutions as constitutionally equal treatment." "If we have learned anything from the significant evolution in the prevailing societal views and official policies toward members of minority races and toward women over the past half-century, it is that even the most familiar and generally accepted of social practices and traditions often mask unfairness and inequality that frequently is not recognized or appreciated by those not directly harmed by those practices or traditions." "Conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection. Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice." "To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others."
Dan Johnson March 19, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Expert testamony from Hawaii Supreme Court" Dr Eggebeen (witness against marriage equality) also conceded that "gay and lesbian couples can, and do, make excellent parents" "that they are capable of raising a healthy child", and "that children of same sex couples would be helped if their families had access to or were able to receive benefits of marriage". Dr. Charlotte Patterson: there was "no data or research which establishes that gay fathers and lesbian mothers are less capable of being good parents than non-gay people. Dr. David Brodzinsky: The issue is not the structural variable, biological versus nonbiological, one parent versus two parent. The issue is really the process variables, how children are cared for, is the child provided warmth, it the child provided consistency of care, is the child provided a stimulated environment, is the e child given support.... and when you take a look at structural variables, there's not all that much support that structural variable in and of themselves are all that important. Dr. Pepper Shwartz: "the primary quality of parenting is not the parenting structure, or biology, but is the nurturing relationship between parent and child." Same sex couples are raising children. They should be treated equally under the law, as promised in the founding documents and required under Article 4 as well as the 5th and 14th amendments.


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