A bipartisan coalition in the Minnesota House passed a measure Thursday to legalize same sex-marriage, setting in motion what could be a historic turning point for gay and lesbian rights in Minnesota.
“All Minnesotans deserve the freedom to marry the person they love and we are proud to take this historic vote to ensure same-sex couples have that right,” said House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFLMinneapolis.
The dramatic vote came after a sometimes passionate, three-hour debate that culminated when four Republican members privately wrestling with the issue joined a majority of Democrats to pass the measure 75-59. The debate raged as hundreds of advocates from both sides gathered outside the House gallery chanting, waving signs and praying.
- If we're going to have gay marriage, it's far better that it come through the legislature than through a judge's edict. You can argue all day long whether the majority of Minnesotans actually support gay marriage, but what matters is that a majority of their elected representatives do. We sent these folks to St. Paul and they have decided the matter on our behalf. That's how the system works and if you really believe in the system, you have to let it work even when the results aren't amenable to your wishes.
- My guess is that, in the short term, not much will change. What happens in the long term is a more interesting question. As I've said before, gay marriage is a longitudinal societal change with ramifications that will become evident only after many more years. And many of the people who regularly read this feature are likely to be pushing up daisies by the time the evidence is in.