Thursday, May 9, 2013
The Minnesota House passed a same-sex marriage bill today, 75-59. The predictions are that the Senate will pass the bill (assuming the working out of conforming amendments) on Monday.
For the record, here are two letters that our two groups of religious liberty scholars (including Rick and me in the first group, and Michael Perry and me in the second, pro-same-sex-marriage group) sent to Minnesota legislators arguing for stronger religious liberty provisions. (The archive of various state letters is here.) I also gave input arguing for strong religious liberty provisions in MN at earlier times including during the drafting. In some ways the results are reasonably protective of religious liberty -- partly because the bills incorporate Minnesota's reasonably strong existing exemption from sexual-orientation nondiscrimination laws -- but they also leave some important matters unprotected.
Interestingly, there was a proposed amendment to eliminate the term "marriage" from the statutes and replace it with civil unions for all couples (leaving religions or anyone else free, of course, to perform marriages). That effort was launched by Republicans, but it got a few DFL (Democratic) votes. It lost, 111-22.