MN Gay Marriage Bill Introduced at Capitol - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Gay Marriage Bill Introduced at Capitol

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It is a major step forward for gay rights in Minnesota Wednesday as a bill unveiled at the state capitol aims to legalize gay marriage by summer.


Lawmakers argue that same-sex families deserve the same recognition from the state as more traditional ones. The bill would repeal a 1997 law -- which had prohibited marriage between same-sex couples -- while still allowing unwilling churches to be exempted from performing same-sex marriage ceremonies.

One of the bill's main authors, Senator Scott Dibble, says this is more than politics; it's about giving those who love each other the same rights as everyone else.

At First Congregational United Church of Christ in Moorhead, Pastor Mark Pettis says there is a lot of momentum for this bill after an amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman failed last November by 150,000 votes.

Pettis says it is not right for the state government to tell churches who they can and cannot marry. "It is hurtful when the state government choose not to affirm they are in fact families, according to the law," he told us, "so I think, should this legislation pass and be signed into law, it will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate."

Governor Mark Dayton says he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, however Senator Dibble has expressed uncertainty whether he has the votes to pass the measure in the Democratic-led legislature.

 If passed, weddings could begin in August.

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