Friday, March 6, 2009

Minnesota bill would make marriage gender neutral | News Story on

Minnesota bill would make marriage gender neutral | News Story on

By 365gay Newscenter Staff
03.06.2009 10:43am EST

(St. Paul, Minnesota) Legislation that would amend Minnesota’s marriage law to make it gender neutral has been filed in the state Senate.
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Currently the law defines marriage as a contract between “a man and a woman. The bill proposed by five Democrats would change the definition to “two persons” opening up marriage to same-sex couples.

The bill also would remove a ban to gay marriage and the section preventing the state from recognizing same-sex marriages from another state or country.

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but no hearings have been scheduled.

Democrats control both houses of the legislature, but Republicans say Gov. Tim Pawlenty would likely veto the bill should it pass.

In a bid to make the legislation more palatable to Pawlenty, the crafters of the bill included wording that it in no way condones homosexuality ” or any equivalent lifestyle.” The bill also states the measure cannot be used to promote homosexuality in public schools.

Still, Republicans say they will vote against the bill. GOP leaders also said they are looking at a new attempt to advance a proposed amendment to the state constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage.

The proposed amendment was filed in the legislature in 2004 and 2006. It never made it out of committee.

Last year, an attempt to pass same-sex marriage legislation failed but LGBT rights groups say they now believe they have the votes.

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