A Democrat who was on the fence as to whether to support a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota says he will vote for the bill.
Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, said today that if the bill comes up he’s on board.
“To further deny equal rights to all people would be a black eye on this institution and certainly on my own career,” he said.
Supporters and opponents of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage have been lobbying Radinovich and several other rural Democrats on the bill. Sixty-two percent of the voters in Radinovich’s Aitkin and Crow Wing County district supported the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
Radinovich acknowledged that his stance on the bill would upset some of his constituents, including some of his family members. But he said he believes that a majority of younger voters support same-sex marriage, and that the trend is that same-sex marriage will be legal soon.
“I’d rather have the voters be upset with me right now than me to be upset with myself for the rest of my life,” Radinovich said.
House and Senate DFL leaders are staying mum about whether they’ll bring the bill up for a vote. DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen said that some House Democrats are still undecided on the issue. He said he doesn’t have a timeline as to when the House might vote on the bill.
“My plan would be that if we’re going to bring it up that we are going to be very comfortable that we have the votes to pass it,” Thissen said.
DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk told the AP that he still intends to wait for the House to vote first but wouldn’t rule out that the Senate could vote on the bill first.
Lawmakers have until May 20 to finish their work.