Minnesota legislators introduce marriage bills in state House and Senate

Today, Minnesota state legislators announced that they were officially introducing bills in the House and Senate that would extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples across the Minnesota - including Nick Pautze and Andy Willenbring, who have been together for nearly 15 years. The bipartisan legislation, which would protect religious freedom for religious institutions across the state, has intense momentum and will face consideration by both chambers of the MN legislature over the next several months. 

Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Karen Clark announced the news this morning. "This is a day to be very proud to be a Minnesotan," Dibble said. "Minnesotans have rallied around this unifiying, clarifying discussion about the power of love in our lives." 

Minnesotans United for All Families' campaign manager, Richard Carlbom, applauded the legislators for taking action on the freedom to marry. He said:

In Minnesota, we don't turn our backs on family - and this legislation will make that statement as true as possible. No Minnesotan should be singled out and excluded from enjoying a basic freedom, like the freedom to marry the person they love, just because of who they are. There is no substitute for the unique promise of love and commitment inherent to marriage, and it is time for Minnesota state law to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples.

Same-sex couples pay taxes in Minnesota. They vote here, run businesses here, and serve in the military on behalf of their fellow Minnesotans. They work hard and contribute to the system just like anyone else, and they have children who deserve to grow up in stable families with married parents. The legislation introduced today - and authored by a bipartisan group of legislators - will ensure that in Minnesota, freedom always means freedom for everyone. Minnesotans United is proud to be mobilizing thousands of grassroots marriage supporters across our state to make sure every legislator in Saint Paul knows that passing this legislation in 2013 is an absolutely priority, and that it is a vote that they will be supported for having the leadership to take.

The freedom to marry in Minnesota would signal a sweeping, unprecedented shift in support for marriage for same-sex couples. Last year, Minnesotas defeated an anti-gay amendment at the ballot, one of the first victory of this sort in history. The rapid transition toward support for full marriage protections fror same-sex couples is a sign that the conversation that Minnesotans have participated in over the last two years has provoked residents to stop and consider why marriage matters and why same-sex couples should not be excluded. 

Marriage bills are also being considered this year in Delaware, Rhode Island, and Illinois.  

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Minnesota HERE.  

Photo by Coopersmith Photography, Coordination by Simply Elegant Bridal Consulting, Boutonnieres by Floral Logic.