There are two weeks left in the 2013 legislative session in Minnesota. Is the legislature running out of time to pass marriage equality? Do we have the votes, yet?
Just so you know, the DFL (Democratic Farmer/Labor Party is MN's Democratic Party) controls both houses and the Governor is DFLer Mark Dayton.
Richard Carlbom of MN United (technically Minnesotans United for All Families is the name of the campaign to bring marriage equality to MN) said that Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk has always believed that he has the votes and Carlbom agrees. But what about the House?
"We are very close," said Carlbom. "We will be working hard in these next two weeks to line up the votes and bring the bill up for a floor vote in the House."
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press last Friday, we are 5 votes shy. Minnesota has 136 House districts. We need 68 YES votes from DFLers. We have 1 YES vote from one brave Republican. They count 17 DFLers from non-metro districts as the swing votes.
Most House DFLers -- a total of 56 -- come from districts that voted against the marriage amendment, and House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, says it's likely those members will vote to legalize gay marriage.Since then, Rep. Tim Faust (DFL-Hinkley) who was leaning YES came out in support of marriage equality. So now we have 7 solid votes, but still need 5 conversions.
If all 56 vote yes, plus the seven swing voters, that gets the total to 63 -- five short of what's required for passage. Thissen has said he won't schedule the vote until he knows it will pass.
The five additional "yes" votes must come from the eight DFLers in swing districts who have thus far not said how they're voting.
Are there any House Members amongst the MNGOP willing to buck the bigots? Where do we stand? PiPress has the details:
Yes: Tom Anzelc of Balsam Township; Carly Melin of Hibbing; Jason Metsa of Virginia; Joe Radinovich of Crosby; Shannon Savick of Wells; Mike Sundin of Esko.Sign up at MN United to help them over the final hurdle.
Leaning yes: Tim Faust of Hinckley. [Note: Faust now solid YES]
No: Patti Fritz of Faribault; Mary Sawatzky of Willmar.
Undeclared: Roger Erickson of Baudette; Paul Marquart of Dilworth; Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake; John Persell of Bemidji; Jeanne Poppe of Austin.
No comment: Andrew Falk of Murdock; John Ward of Baxter.
Unavailable: David Dill of Crane Lake.