Minnesota Rep. Karen Clark on Friday
introduced a bill in the House that would repeal a proposed
constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
The amendment, approved last year by
the Republican-controlled Legislature and slated to be voted on
during the November general election, would define marriage in the
state as a heterosexual union.
Clark's bill (HF 1885) would remove the
measure from the 2012 ballot. The bill faces an uphill battle in a
Legislature whose composition hasn't change much since last year.
The measure has the backing of 17
co-sponsors, all off whom are Democrats.
In an emotional speech to colleagues
last year, Clark pleaded with lawmakers to consider her own union of
22 years in deciding on the amendment.
“Which one of you, my colleagues, do
not believe I should have my basic family rights with my partner?”
she asked. “Please tell me. That's what this [is] about. I've
paid my dues, my required share. You have to be able to face me and
face your own constituents who have been calling you and tell us
that's what you believe and support.”
“Until this last election, I thought
my partner and I might be able to be one of the early couples to
enjoy the rights of marriage by a law getting passed and signed by
Minnesota. But that possibility has changed, at least for now. And
since my dad has become so ill, I have, for the first time, thought
of taking a trip to Iowa, where gay marriage is legal.”
“But I beg you colleagues; please
don't make me go off to Iowa.”