At a press conference Wednesday morning
at the Minnesota State Capitol, lawmakers unveiled a long-expected
bill which seeks to legalize gay marriage in the state.
Senator Scott Dibble was joined by
Representatives Karen Clark and Steve Simon in introducing the
Also making statements to the press
were gay and lesbian couples raising children in Minnesota.
Senator Branden Petersen, the first
Republican to co-sponsor the legislation, did not attend the
conference due to a scheduling conflict.
The push for marriage equality in
Minnesota resumed after Democrats regained control of the Legislature
and voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment which sought
to define marriage as a heterosexual union.
Dibble responded to the criticisms of
opponents who have said that supporters are confusing opposition to a
ban for an endorsement of marriage equality.
“You know, I'm not surprised they're
saying that because that's about the only refuge they have to hide,”
he said. “My sense is that public Minnesotans have come so far, so
fast on this and the Legislature is ready to settle this question and
simply move on.”
Clark called the amendment a “trial
When asked whether he believes he has the
votes needed to approve the legislation, Dibble said supporters were
He also criticized Republicans who
controlled the Legislature last year for taking the amendment to the
“The Republican majority's crowning
achievement in their legislative session last year was putting a
divisive, hurtful amendment on the ballot on their way towards
shutting down state government in steadfast refusal to work with
their DFL minority colleagues and the governor. And that was
overreach. And that was divisive. … This is about expanding
through love and generosity the ability of all Minnesotans to
participate in something that's very important.”