Today the Minnesota House votes on the topic of marriage equality. A live stream is available for those who want to watch / listen.
The legislation can be read online (MN HF1054), and gives the requisite exemptions for religious organizations to deny marrying same sex couples ... in case they weren't aware they have that ability already.
Throughout the debate, chants of opponents and advocates can be heard throughout the chamber. Regardless of the outcome, how exciting it is to hear the populace inside the legislation hall!
11:31 AM PT: Rep Gruenhagen brings up the topic of parochial schools to Rep Clark. Specifically, gender specific terminology mandated in relation to parochial schools that receive public money. I believe the concern relates to curriculum topics that broach the subject of marriage, and how teachers can reference parents. Rep Karen Clark affirms that parochial schools can continue their curriculum as currently implemented.
11:35 AM PT: Rep Gruenhagen also questions Rep Clark about the ability for parents to keep their children out of classes if marriage equality or "sexuality" is brought up. This makes me wonder exactly what some parents think happen in classes.
11:38 AM PT: Rep Gruenhagen brings up the whole "kids need one mommy and one daddy" issue. He seems to agree, but then states he was raised by a single parent, so I'm not totally sure what he thinks. Maybe he thinks his childhood was second-rate, and his parent is probably offended.
11:40 AM PT: Rep Kathy Brynaert points out the commonalities between same sex and opposite couples to show love is love regardless of gender.
11:42 AM PT: Rep Rena Moran ... an African American in support of marriage equality! There must be some mistake!!!
11:47 AM PT: Rep Pam Myhra supports equal rights, except for gays
11:54 AM PT: Rep Dorholt - It would be unethical to vote against this bill
11:59 AM PT: Rep FitzSimmons cites his own experience raising his son alone to show that while some may disagree with his family, it's his source of happiness. I'm a bit confused if he supports the bill, but it appears he does.
12:02 PM PT: A very astute point is made that we all treat married couples as married, without thought as to the exact specifics of their private lives. When we meet a married couple, we don't think, "well you're not really married because ..."
12:06 PM PT: Rep Ableler spoke at length at how awesome democracy is, evidently as a way to counter-balance his opposition to marriage equality. He seems to believe that he can deny gays equal rights while also appearing to be respectful of them.
12:14 PM PT: Rep Persell ... "Do justice, love kindly, walk humbly." Quotes Micah 6:8 as a way to show his support of this bill.
12:45 PM PT: Rep Simons ... "Live and let love"
12:47 PM PT: Wow!! Powerful story from Rep Simons - The moment when night turns to day is the moment you look at a stranger and see the face of your brother
1:04 PM PT: Voting now!!!!!!!!
1:06 PM PT: Final vote 75 Yay - 59 Nay ... Moving on to the Senate and passage!