With 14 days left in the legislative
session, a Minnesota House panel will consider a gay marriage bill on
The House Ways & Means Committee
will review the proposed legislation nearly two months after the
House Civil Law Committee approved it with a 10-7 vote.
Democrats introduced the bill which
would make Minnesota the 11th state to legalize gay
nuptials following the defeat of a statewide ballot initiative in
November which sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union in
the Minnesota Constitution.
But while a majority of voters rejected
the ban, an uneven distribution among districts has left many
Democrats torn on the issue.
Sixty-three percent of voters in Rep.
Tim Faust's district voted for the amendment.
In comments over the weekend with the
County Times, Faust, also a Lutheran pastor, said he's
leaning in favor of the proposed bill.
“'Don't take my religious freedom
away from me,' is what a lot of them say,” Faust told the paper.
“The problem is that the religious freedom argument cuts both ways,
because if you are going to argue that we shouldn't have gay marriage
based on your religious beliefs, then aren't we imposing your
religious beliefs on somebody else if we say they can't?”
“In order for the churches to
actually be the ones that are deciding, the state has to get out of
that business and say it's not up to us,” Faust said.
Meanwhile, supporters announced they
would increase their lobbying efforts in the final weeks of the
regular legislative session.