Source: Wikipedia commons

The House Civil Justice Committee will be the first in Minnesota’s history to conduct a hearing on the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Three bills will be up for discussion on Monday, and all three are supportive of expanded relationship rights for Minnesota’s same-sex couples.

The Marriage and Family Protection Act would make marriages in Minnesota gender neutral, a civil unions bill is also being proposed and another bill would recognize same-sex marriage performed in states where it is legal, such as neighboring Iowa.

“The hearing will be historic because it is the first time a committee in our state Legislature will be looking at what enacting marriage equality means for Minnesota,” said OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT equality group.

The hearing will be held at 4:30pm on Monday, February 22 in State Office Building Room 10.

Outfront says, “supporters of marriage equality will speak about what it would be like if our state no longer explicitly barred same-sex couples from legal protections, Legislators will hear from experts and their constituents that discrimination against people because of who they love or who they are is wrong.”

But not everyone in in the LGBT community pleased about the hearing. Citizen activist Doug Benson who secured legislative support for the Marriage and Family Protection Act said called it a “show hearing” because there will be no vote taken on the bills so they won’t advance out of committee.

“There won’t be a vote on our bill because one of the bill’s likely yes votes left the committee for reasons I am not aware of,” he said. “It’s basically a show hearing to shut us up.”

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

One Response to “ ‘Historic’ hearing on same-sex marriage in Minnesota ”

  1. Marcia

    Marcia

    This is a step in the right direction whether it goes anywhere this time out or not.

    Anyone who doesn’t want to get married is free to not do so. No legal changes needed for that.

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