Victory for Gay Marriage in Senate Committee

Posted at: 03/12/2013 6:59 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A bill to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota passed a Senate Committee hearing and now moves to a move in a house committee Tuesday night.


So many people were scheduled to testify during the house hearing Tuesday morning, another hearing was scheduled for Tuesday evening around 6 p.m.

"It's just really incredible energy around here and it's just exciting to be in the capitol for this historic day,” said Trevor Chandler with Minnesotans United.

Historic? Yes. But still controversial.

"Well freedom means freedom for everyone and in Minnesota, we really don't turn our backs on neighbors,” said Chandler.

"I don't believe they have a right to change the entire system that our children grow up in and provide safety for all of them,” said Julie Burt, who opposes the bill that would legalize same-sex marriage.

While both the House and Senate bills would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, they also provide exemptions for religious organizations that don’t agree with same-sex marriage. But opponents say that’s simply not good enough.

"I respect their rights to choose, I stress equality everywhere in society, but when it comes to family and children God created a man and a woman and nobody can deny that it takes a mean and a woman to create a child and these children get unique benefits from a mother and a father,” said Burt.

"I'm very concerned, with this amendment, because I am a public school teacher, retiree, after 29 years and you can't put a person like me that knows right from wrong the way God wants it in a classroom and try to teach them that it's okay that a man can adopt a child,” added Arlene Desombre.

But supporters say children and families will benefit when all couples can be married.

"It's about living those MN values, that says, you know what, our same sex couples that are living in Minnesota, raising kids, they pay taxes, they serve in the military and it's about treating them the exact same way anyone else would wanna be treated,” said Chandler.

The House Committee is expected to vote following its second hearing tonight. The bill then goes to the full House and Senate for a vote, which could still be a few weeks away. If passed, the governor says he’ll sign it.