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Friday, February 20, 2009

Minnesota Marriage Equality Update

Below is a message from David Strand, grassroots organizer for Marriage Equality Minnesota. This is the group doing the work Outfront refuses to do.


Before any more time passed I wanted to give a shout out of thanks to the Minneapolis city council for unanimously voting to add the Marriage and Family Protection Act to the city of Minneapolis lobbying agenda. Special thanks to Elizabeth Glidden for spearheading the effort as a member of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee and Betsy Hodges as chair of said committee.

I am particularly grateful personally as after making the proposal to Elizabeth Glidden and Betsy Hodges, I unexpectedly had to leave town for a family funeral and they walked it through the remainder of the process and had it done by the time I returned! The city council voted unanimously to add it to the city's lobbying agenda on Friday Feb. 6th.

I would also like to thank the Minnesota Student Association at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities for also endorsing the legislation on Feb. 3rd.

Thank you too to all the Minneapolitans who made it to the Freedom to Marry Day in the rotunda at the state capitol on Thurs. Feb. 12th.

The Senate bill is SF120 and is authored by Sen. John Marty and coauthored by Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, Sen. Linda Higgins, Sen. Scott Dibble and Sen. Mee Moua.

A duplicate Senate bill has been authored by Sen. Sandy Pappas and as of this writing is coauthored by Sen. Linda Berglin and Sen. Ellen Andersen.

The House bill is HF 893 and is authored by Rep. Phyllis Kahn and coauthored by Rep. David Bly, Rep. Karen Clark, Rep. Jim Davnie, Rep. Mindy Greiling, Rep. Alice Hausman, Rep. Jeff Hayden, Rep. Bill Hilty, Rep. Frank Hornstein, Rep. Thomas Huntley, Rep. Sheldon Johnson, Rep. Carolyn Laine, Rep. John Lesch, Rep. Tina Liebling, Rep. Dianne Loeffler, Rep. Carlos Mariani, Rep. Erin Murphy, Rep. Michael Paymar, Rep. Maria Ruud, Rep. Linda Slocum, Rep. Cy Thao, Rep. Tom Tillberry, Rep. Jean Wagenius, and Rep. Ryan Winkler.

Minneapolis is particularly important to the bill's prospects this session. While we have the votes to get the bill to the Governor's desk in both legislative chambers we need the support of the at least four key Minneapolitans who have not coauthored the house or senate versions of the bill.

We need the support of Rep. Joe Mullery, in his role as committee chair, to allow there to be hearing in the House Civil Justice Committee.

We need the support of Rep. Bobby Champion, as a member of the House Civil Justice Committee to vote to pass the bill out of committee.

We need the support of Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher to allow the bill to to to a vote on the House floor.

And, we need the support of Sen. Larry Pogemiller to allow the Senate hearing to proceed and allow the bill to go to a vote on the Senate floor.

Without the support of these four Minneapolis representatives and senator,it is difficult for the bill to even get a hearing in the either chamber let alone a vote in either chamber.

We believe it is crucial to the timely passage of civil marriage equality in Minnesota that the bill pass both houses and be sent to our current Governor this session.

The keys to whether this bill has opportunity to pass the legislature this session, which would be most historic, wholly lies in the hands of Minneapolis legislators at this point.

We are pleased that the DFL has added support for this bill to their legislative agenda and also added language to the state party platform supportive of this legislation. The Green Party and Libertarian Party of MN also support the legislation.

It is now up to Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Larry Pogemiller as well as Bobby Champion and Joe Mullery to allow the bills to move forward in both chambers this session.

If you live in these Represenatives or Senator Pogemiller's districts, please call upon them to support the Marriage and Family Protection Act moving forward.

David Strand
Plymouth, MN
Formerly Loring Park
Organizer wth Marriage Equality Minnesota
"Justice delayed, is justice denied." William Gladstone,
*British politician (1809 - 1898)*