Gay marriage supporters in Minnesota on
Friday picked up a key Democratic vote.
Rep. Joe Radinovich, 27, told The
Associated Press that he's decided to vote for a proposed bill
which seeks to make Minnesota the 11th state to legalize
Last fall, voters in Radinovich's
Brainerd-area district overwhelmingly (62%) voted in favor of an
unsuccessful statewide ballot initiative which sought to define
marriage as a heterosexual union in the Minnesota Constitution.
Radinovich, who narrowly won his seat
by just 323 votes last November, said that he personally supports
“This was not an easy decision, but
at the end of the day I'd rather protect my integrity than my job,”
Radinovich said. “This is an issue where there are people whose
opinions are heartfelt on both sides of the issue, and I don't take
that lightly. I certainly have family who feel differently that I
About a dozen House Democrats whose
districts overwhelmingly supported last fall's failed referendum have
been reluctant to commit to the bill.
One of those Democrats, Rep. Tim Faust,
suggested in comments to the Star Tribune last month that he's
considering backing the measure. He said that nearly all the
arguments against gay nuptials are based on religious beliefs but
that many religious leaders are in support.
“Then the question becomes, do we
have the right to impose our religious belief on others?” Faust
rhetorically asked. “If the reason we are arguing we shouldn't be
doing this is because of religious beliefs, it's pretty hard to make
The legislation has cleared House and
Senate committees and awaits floor votes in both chambers. Votes are
expected to take place before the end of the regular session sometime