Minnesota Won’t Get Around to Marriage


Like the Obama administration, Minnesota legislators are citing the economy as the reason they won’t be able to move on gay marriage.

Balancing a budget. Outrage over executive pay at bailed out banks. Monsters vs. Aliens 3-D. All cited as reasons Minnesota’s state lawmakers haven’t been able to get their bills to committee for a vote.

But it’s not all bad news. While some legislators were pushing for marriage equality bills, others were, you guessed it, pushing bills that would amend Minnesota’s state constitution to define marriage “traditionally.”

Four bills related to the issue — both in support and in opposition — have failed to get any committee hearings. Friday marked the deadline for policy bills to clear at least one chamber’s policy committees in order to stay alive.

Wabasha Republican Steve Drazkowksi is the lead author on a bill that would amend the state’s Constitution to define marriage as between “a man and a woman.” The bill would have put the proposed amendment before voters in 2010.

Meanwhile, Rochester Democratic Rep. Tina Liebling is co-sponsoring a bill that would make the state’s marriage laws gender neutral. Another measure sponsored by Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis, would legalize civil unions. A fourth measure would require the state to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

But it appears given the policy bill deadline that this will not be the year lawmakers tackle this hot-button issue.

[Rochester Post-Bulletin]