Updated 8:58pm, May 8: Rep. Andrew Falk sent a letter to constituents saying he will be voting the the marriage equality bill. Rep. Clark Johnson is telling constituents that he supports the bill.
With a vote scheduled in the House on Thursday, DFL leadership must think it has the votes to pass marriage equality. There are still a lot of unknowns among the DFL caucus as many have not gone on record on how they may vote — and that may be important political calculus for some. By not announcing in public but telling leadership in private that they are voting for the bill, they don’t risk the wrath of Minnesota for Marriage which is already sending out flier in tough districts.
Marriage equality advocates need 68 votes to pass the marriage equality bill. According to our count, they have about 57 “for sure” votes, so ten more need to turn in order for the bill to pass.
New yes votes
Previously undeclared, Rep. Mike Sundin told the Pioneer Press he will vote for the bill. In addition, a Politics in Minnesota survey of lobbyists on the issue found him leaning in the yes column.
Rep. Shannon Savich told the Pioneer Press she will vote for the bill.
Rep. Joe Radinovich has also said he is undecided. But Capitol press sources were saying on Friday that he will be voting for the bill. The Pioneer Press asked him about it and he said he is leaning yes.
Rep. Tim Faust has repeatedly said he is on the fence, but leaning toward voting for marriage equality. He was endorsed by OutFront Minnesota Action in 2012. (update: as of Monday, Faust is a solid yes).
These are included in the above count.
Marriage equality advocates are going to need to convince these five to go further in the direction they seem to be heading.
Rep. David Dill has not made his position on the bill known. In addition, a Politics in Minnesota survey of lobbyists on the issue found him leaning in the yes column.
Though he spoke eloquently against the marriage amendment, Rep. John Ward has told reporters that he is undecided. In addition, a Politics in Minnesota survey of lobbyists on the issue found him leaning in the yes column.
(Update: Falk is now a supporter) Rep. Andrew Falk is on the fence but appears to be leaning toward support the bill. Minnesota for Marriage recently posted about him. “Despite the fact that his district OVERWHELMINGLY supports traditional marriage, Rep. Falk is considering standing with same-sex “marriage” lobbyists instead of his constituents and voting for the same-sex “marriage” bill!” In addition, a Politics in Minnesota survey of lobbyists on the issue found him leaning in the yes column.
Rep. Jeane Poppe seems like a likely supporter. She told the Austin Daily Herald that she’s “open to gay marriage” but wants to hear from her constituents first. She told the Pioneer Press that she is undeclared.
Rep. Yvonne Selcer was outfront endorsed in 2012 so she should be seen as a strong leaner. But hasn’t gone on the record that we can tell.
With these six, marriage equality will still need 6 more votes to get to 68. And that’s if these six vote how we think they will.
Rep. Roger Erickson recently said he was undecided. Still, he was endorsed by OutFront Minnesota Action in 2012. He told the Pioneer Press that he is undeclared.
Rep. Mary Murphy told media that she is undecided.
Rep. Ben Lien hasn’t made his position known.
Rep. John Persell is willing to go for civil unions but has not committed on the marriage equality bill.
Rep. Jay McNamar told the Star Tribune that for him, this is a very hard decision and he is undecided. He told the Pioneer Press that he is undeclared.
Rep. Kim Norton said she is not sure how she would vote on gay marriage bill, and has told reporters that she would have a hard time voting “against civil rights of an indiv.” She is sponsor of civil unions legislation.
Rep. Paul Marquart said at a townhall that he is undecided. In addition, a Politics in Minnesota survey of lobbyists on the issue found him leaning in the yes column. He told the Pioneer Press that he is undeclared.
Rep. Gene Pelowski is undecided according to Politics in Minnesota.
Republican Rep. Marion O’Neill hasn’t made her position known but she got her Masters at Regent University which was founded by Pat Robertson. We’d hate to say we are wrong by putting her in the no column, but her vote for marriage equality seems very unlikely.
Several DFLers also haven’t gone on the record.
In a Greater Minnesota district that defeated the anti-gay marriage amendment with only 47 percent support, Rep. Clark Johnson of North Mankato is newly elected and hasn’t stated a position on the bill. (update: Johnson is telling constituents that he is voting for the bill).
Neither has Rep. Michael Nelson of Brooklyn Park. His district rejected the amendment in a squeaker with 49.3 percent support.
Rep. Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington hasn’t announced which way she will vote and on OutFront Minnesota Action’s scorecards in the past, she’s voted with the LGBT community 50 percent of the time (but that was back in 2007 and 2008). Only 43.5 percent of her district voted for the anti-gay marriage amendment.
Rep. Sandra A. Masin is from Eagan an only 42 percent voted for the amendment. She hasn’t taken a public stance on the bill that we could find.
Rep. Will Morgan of Burnsville has not made his position on the bill publicly known. His district defeated the amendment with only 45 percent support.
DFLers voting no
Rep. Patti Fritz, whose position was previously unknown, told the Pioneer Press she will be voting no.
Rep. Mary Sawatzky may be a “no” vote on the bill. She recently told the Star Tribune, “I am elected to listen to my constituents, and what they are consistently telling me is that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.” She also told the Pioneer Press she will be voting no.
A GOP leaner?
Rep. Jenifer Loon did not vote in the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday saying that her constituent survey showed her district supported marriage equality. She could be a Republican vote for the bill. She is currently undecided.