Gov. Dayton signs same-sex marriage legislation
Latz - The separation of church and state is for the protection of each. For the protection of religion from the intrusion of the state as well as the state from being overrun by religiosity. By people who would impose religion on the rest of us. Such is one of the perceptions of marraige imbued in statuatory law. We have the capacity to make the change and we've seen how that has informed decisions around the country. I believe if we pass this law, we'll becom the 12ths tate in the nation to do this. Democracy reflects the changing viewpoints of our constituents. In five or 10 years, those of you with districts that voted 65% in the amendment last fall, will poll in the 40s.
Latz invoked the "Baker decision." Refers to jack Baker. he and his partner applied for a marriage license in hennepin county in 1970. That kicked off this debate. My colleague, Sasha Aslanian, went to their house last week. But they are an intensely private couple and did not want to talk about what's been happening for the last week.
The Senate debate has now gone longer than the debate in the MN House. The Senate has half the members (and offered fewer amendments).by tomscheck via twitter 5/13/2013 8:15:30 PM
Jack Baker (born Richard John Baker) and James Michael McConnell apply for a marriage license in Minneapolis. (Photo by R. Bertrand Heine | Courtesy of MN Historical Society)
Latz: Do not vote out of fear of your constituents or even your family. Vote from your personal strength of what you know is the right thing to do for the people around us and our society.
Sen. Sean Nienow - Everyone knows how they're going to vote. But I couldn't. this is the most transformative piece of legislation that we'll see until we leave office. the only difference is is the transformation going to be good or not. Therein lies the crux of the debate and the divide in Minnesota. Right now, a large majority of MNs don't want this to become law today . last fall they were told, you can vote no because nothing will change.
It will have an impact on individuals about the potential implications for people who service marriage. Things will change for them and we had a chance to make it better for them in this bill and that was rejected.
We're obviously heading to the final few speakers.
Sen. Alice Johnson (DFL) - In 1660 the colony of MD passed a law saying there could be no interracial marriages. The U.S. Supreme court 9eventually) said there will be for people who want them. I say we learn by history. People with deeply religious views thought they were doing right and I don't blame them for that.
Johnson - I thought I would go to hell if I didn't go to church on Sunday. my nephew is the bishop of Wichita and about ot be the archbishop of Dubuque. I'm divorced and you used to be excommunicated if you got divorced. now I'm married. That would not be able to be before 1967. When it affects you personally, you become more understanding. We've been prejudiced against -- my husband and I -- simply because he's black. That's wrong.
My Prediction for HF 1054 39 Yea / 28 Nay & Minnesota will become the 12th State to Support Marriage Equality.
Does anyone know how many arguments from senators are left? I'm getting antsy.
Sen. Paul Gazelka (GOP) I stand for all people including gays and lesbians and yet I'm opposed to same sex marriage. We are divided (in MN) right down to our soul. People have shed tears. Its hard to find the answer we need that solves both sides. I am convinced there's one right answer. That God does have a right and a wrong and yet today we're going to fall on either side of that. What does God think of that for the side that is wrong. And yet I come to the conclusion that he is wildly in love with us, even at our worst place in life. All of us.
Gazelka -- It is my desire to be somebody that brings healing, knowing that I am on the opposite side of half of you. We've got to figure out how to get through together. I'm a red vote today, but I have the utmost respect and compassion for all people, including gays and lesbians.
Sen. chuck Wiger (DFL) - It appears God supports both sides of this issue, so let's move ahead. Also, the constitution supports moving ahead. We know DOMA is going before the Supreme Court, perhaps in court. Those could be struck down.
Wiger: The amendment backfired, and I think history will write it that way. Ultimately, we do what's right. I don't know how often you study the murals here, but there's four women. Cass Gilbert.... the four women in the corners. They're traditional symbols of courage, freedom, justice, and equality, and that's why we need to vote green.
Sen. Dick Cohen (DFL ) -- (Final wrap up speeches... cheer goes up outside). There were 13 of us who voted "no" on the defense of marriage act. Three of us -- Sen. pappas, sen. marty,a nd myself -- are here today. We welcome thousands of Minnesotans to be complete members of our society. It was Hubert Humphrey who said we must march out of the shadows of state's rights and into the sunshine of human rights. That's what we're doing today.
Cohen - The horrific institution of slavery, the 19th century policy of genocide of native americans.... but the reality is that over the decades, human rights has been the touchstone of this country.
Supporters wait for vote in rotunda. MPR Photo/Molly Bloom
Sen. Petersen (GOP) (co-author of bill). I want to address family and friends who have deep disagreement with me today. I've considered for months...I truly couldn't come back to this chamber as an honest legislator and cast a "no" vote on this bill. I couldn't look in the mirror and saying I'm honestly doing the right thing.
Petersen - to my kids -- they're two and one so don't understand -- regardless of whether you one day agree with me , in all things related to your faith, to your freedom, to your family, be bold and be courageous and you'll never regret a day in your life.
Petersen - I would like to rebuke anyone who suggests that someone who has a disagreement is a bigot or a hateful individual. It's not only offensive, it's absurd. Many of the people I care and would die for are not those things.
Petersen - I start with the fact that we as citizens of this country and this state live and are blessed to live with the presumption of liberty. We're free to act as we wish so long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others. The burden is on govt to prove while we should not be free. the burden of proof is not on the individual who seeks to be treated equally under the law. The center of the argument is the 14th Amendment. It's an argument we haven't debate and I was hoping we would. if we're suggesting people ought not be treated equally under the law, we have an obligation to say why not.
Petersen - As I was looking back at history of our nation... you'll find that one of the oldest protected classes is the freedom of religion, freedom of people to practice religion as they see fit. It predates the articles of confederation. One of the great advocates of freedom of religion was Thomas jefferson and to a lesser extent James Madison. As a fan of Thomas Jefferson, even Thomas Jefferson recognized that something is clearly a choice, jefferson understood that religion was a critical part of the human fabric. it often guides their relationships and path in life. And so as it relates to sexual orientation and who one chooses to love, i would suggest to you that is also deeply woven into their life. Spending your life with the one you love and being treated equally under the law is just as integral to who we are.
Senate leaders speaking now. It's almost over.
Martha Pedersen, left in purple, and Michelle Medina, who recently took part in a commitment ceremony and want to be legally married in Minnesota, watch the Senate debate same-sex marriage on a television Monday, May 13, 2013 at the State Capitol. MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson
Sen. David Hann - this bill has had pretty limited discussion and debate. I think of the stadium legislation and much hearing time we had on that bill. I don't think it's divisive because one group hates another group. It's not about discrimination or bigotry. We're all opposed to the idea of unfairly discriminating and being prejudicial to fellow citizens; it's not about that. For those of us being accused of that, it's offensive because it's untrue and I think the people accusing of us know that.
Hann - If you're going to shut people down by calling names, what kind of honest discussion are we going to have.
GOP Senate Minority Leader David Hann is speaking. He complains they don't have a budget. He also complains about committee process.by tomscheck via twitter 5/13/2013 8:52:05 PM
Hann - I've been asked by proponents of the marriage bill, how will my having same sex marraige affect my marriage. it won't directly. But no man is an island apart from himself. We know that it will affect all of us, our culture -- and some will argue that it'll affect it in a positive way, others think it will affect it in a negative way; we don't know -- but let's be honest that this redefinition will affect all of us.
Senators continuing to point out that this is a divisive issue. Which constitutes analysis.
Sen. Dave Senjem - We're going to have same sex marriage. I think of people like Bob and Joe, good friends, good people, happen to be gay. I don't have to understand everythign there is to know about being gay. But they take care of their house, mow their lawn. got a picture from Marge and Joe today, good friends, have invited me to their wedding. As we go forward, I hope through my life I've been able to reach out to peopl elike this and say 'I may disagree with you, I've been polite, I've been cordial' . In a few minutes I'll decide whether I step across this line or not and we'll find out.
Sen. Dibble (this will be the last speaker before the vote)
Sen. Dibble -- Reading Langston Hughes:
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that's almost dead today.
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine—the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
Sen. Dibble left out words of alienation from the poem "because this is not a day to be alienated from the country we love."
Dibble: today we have the power... to make dreams come true. What do we dream of? As kids growing up, what do we all dream of? a good life. A happy home. Falling in love with someone. Sharing that life, a loving family. Marriage says family like nothing else. I'm a lucky guy . I met the person I can't live without. Richard and I have a love that I can't even begin to describe and we have a loving and supportive family. Because of our marriage in California in 2008, our family had a transformation, a connection and understanding to us came about that we didn't anticipate. We've been supported through triumph and adversity.
Dibble: here in MN, Richard and I are legal strangers to each other. How can that be OK? You know people in your life just like Richard and me.... people raising kids, contributing in so many ways. I promise you. Nothing will change. We are redefining nothing. We are joining in the thing we all cherish and prize and value the most. Except that for thousands of families, life will be better; that will change. we will be treating people fairly and removing the barriers to the full joys life has to offer.
Dibble: there is no limit to love. it's not going to be all used up. It only expands. We do it to ourselves, and also in memory of the conservatives who passed before us.... our late president alan Spear who stood in this chamber 20 years ago to say the human rights act whould recotgnize him and his life.
dibble: and Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, in 1970 tried to get married but were rebuffed. Doug Benson and partner Duane. they're here today, too. They're pursuing their rights in court. After today, they're not going to have to.
Dibble: Vote yes for love.
Supporters sing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam as they await vote on same-sex marriage bill. MPR Video/Molly Bloom