Hearing on same-sex marriage bill slated for next week

A hearing on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota is expected to be held next week.

Rep. John Lesch, DFL-St. Paul, who chairs the House Civil Law Committee, said he intends to hold a hearing next Tuesday or Wednesday. Lesch said he expects the hearing to be extended into the evening to ensure that the public has ample opportunity to testify.

“My intent is to get all of the proponents and opponents on a list,” Lesch said. “I will take proponents and opponents alternatively.”

Lesch also said next week’s hearing will be the only committee stop in the House. And even though the legislation has received plenty of media scrutiny, Lesch said he doesn’t expect any fireworks because the issue received plenty of attention during the last election year.

“It’s not one of those bills that came out of the blue upon which everyone have to get organized,” Lesch said.

Voters defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage last November.

  • Scott

    It’s time for all Minnesotans to be able to marry the person who they love. If your child, parent, sibling or friend was gay or lesbian would you tell them they can’t express their love and commitment equally to every other Minnesotan? Would you tell them they have to wait another year or two or ten? I won’t.

    This might be hard politics for some, but it’s straight forward policy. I’m pleased that it’s moving forward and I can’t wait to attend the weddings of my gay and lesbian friends and family members once it passes. This issue is not about left or right, it’s about allowing all members of our community to be full participants in our shared public life.

  • SC Guy

    Same-sex marriage should not be legalized in Minnesota or elsewhere. It is wrong and runs counter to morality and just common sense. I hope that the Minnesota Legislature does the right thing and kills this legislation. Rejecting a constitutional amendment does not equal supporting gay marriage as subsequent polling has shown.

  • J P Berka

    I’d be curious to know how SC Guy voted on the amendment in November. I am simply curious because I generally don’t find anyone who holds his view who actually voted against the amendment. Thus, I’d be very curious as to where he gains the insight as to how those of us who voted no were thinking and feeling while at the polls.

  • Philip Lowe Jr

    It is time for Minnesota to grant the freedom to marry to LGBT people. Marriage is about love, commitment and responsibility. That’s why LGBT people and couples want to get married. It is time to end the statute that says that LGBT are second class citizens.

  • Lynn Youngblom

    It’s time to put a personal face on this issue. Send a note to your legislators and tell them your story. They need to hear why the marriage bill will personally affect you, your family, or people you know and care about. We all need to stop and think about the many gay and lesbian couples in our state who are already raising families. It’s time to give them the acceptance, benefits, and respect they deserve; to say nothing about what message we have sent to their children up to this point. We finally have the opportunity to treat all loving couples and their families fairly in Minnesota.

  • Bill

    As far as I can tell, legal marriage says absolutely nothing about love or commitment. You can marry someone you hate and intend to never see again. The law is completely silent on the issue and so is tax law. So legal marriage is nothing more (esp. today and by careful design) than piece of paper, a very loose legal contract of sorts. It is only upon dissolution of the contract that the law suddenly cares, and not very much at that. If you want love and commitment, you don’t need a piece of paper. It seems to me that both the proponents and opponents of gay marriage are confused about what the debate is about. It is strictly about expanding the legal class of married people, and that is all. Even having done that, one could still enact law that spoke only of subclasses of the expanded class, so that heterosexual married people could be distinguished in law from homosexual married people. The law commonly creates such subclasses to distinguish the citizen from non-citizen, young from adult, old from young, blind from seeing. What proponents of gay marriage want is to alter the cultural definition of marriage, but that they cannot access through the legislature. In the end the expansion of the class is next to meaningless. What matters is the mood of the people. The law itself is no protection or guarantee of anything. In effect, as I see it, to win anything the cultural battle must be won, and when that happens the legal amendment is superfluous. The purpose, then, of he proposal is to gauge the mood of the public, but ultimately it is meaningless.

  • Kris

    One thing I would like to know is why do they keep referring marriage equality as “same-sex” or “gay” marriage? Why don’t we say “opposite-sex” or “straight” marriage?