At least three Democratic Minnesota
House members have asserted that a proposed gay marriage bill will
clear the House on Thursday.
Among those was House Speaker Paul
Thissen, who told the AP that the measure is “in line with the
tradition we've had in Minnesota about respecting people, making sure
everybody is included in our community and the fullness of
participation in that.”
Rep. Karen Clark, the bill's champion
in the House, gave reporters on Monday a blunt reply: “We will pass
this bill. Yes, we will.”
“Just stay tuned,” she urged. “I
think it will be a wonderful story to follow in the end. There'll be
lots of good stories.”
House Majority Leader Erin Murphy
added: “We are confident that we have the votes to pass it.”
Beyond the predictions of victory from
House Democrats, who are likely to carry the bill over the finish line without Republican support, some Republicans on Monday sounded
resigned to passage.
“Elections have consequences and
voters decided to have the left wing of the DFL have all three
branches,” Rep. Michael Beard told the Star-Tribune.
“Is it inevitable? I'd say probably. They can do pretty much
anything they want to do.”
The sudden optimism comes after the
measure received final nods from a House committee on Monday and a
Senate committee on Tuesday. Several undecided Democrats who
represent districts where voters strongly backed November's
unsuccessful effort to ban such unions have in recent days come out
in support of the bill.
“My brother is gay,” Rep. Shannon
Savick told the AP. “I watched my brother being discriminated
against when we were younger. I just don't see why he shouldn't be
able to marry the person he loves.”
If the House approves the marriage
bill, the Senate could take up the issue as early as Saturday.