Minnesota Public Radio reported on Tuesday that a bill to legalize same-sex marriage will likely be heard in the House Civil Law Committee next week. A quick look at the members of the committee suggests passage of the bill will likely come down to two DFLers who haven’t made a public statement about the issue of marriage equality.
Committee Chair John Lesch is a sponsor of the bill, as is vice chair Susan Allen. Other members of the committee who are sponsoring the bill are Melissa Hortman (DFL), Michael Paymar (DFL), Steve Simon (DFL), Ryan Winkler (DFL) and Barb Yarusso (DFL). Tina Liebling (DFL) has stated in the past that she supports marriage equality.
That makes for 8 votes that are assumed to be in support of the marriage equality bill.
All the Republicans on the committee are expected to vote no. Peggy Scott and Mary Liz Holberg are social conservatives who have opposed rights for same-sex couples in past votes. Holberg’s district was evenly split on the amendment at 49 percent voting yes last November.
Mark Anderson’s district voted for the amendment at 69 percent, Jeff Howe at 55 percent, Brian Johnson at 60 percent, and Jim Newberger at 61 percent.
Republican Cindy Pugh campaigned for the amendment and against same-sex marriage, but her district rejected the amendment with only 41 percent support in November.
That means there are 7 predictable no votes on the committee.
Two DFLers haven’t made their intentions known on the issue.
Paul Rosenthal (DFL) hails from a district that rejected the anti-gay marriage amendment with only 39 percent support. He’s a likely yes vote, but he hasn’t stated a position on the issue.
Debra Hilstrom (DFL) comes from a district that was fairly split on the amendment with 48 percent supporting it.
We could not find a public statement in support of the issue so she’s a tossup.
Either Rosenthal or Hilstrom would have to vote yes for the bill to pass the committee.