Amendment may garner GOP votes for marriage bill

There is support growing for a proposed change to the bill that would legalize same-sex marriage that could help attract Republican support for the bill.

Rep. David Fitzsimmons,R-Albertville, wants to insert the words "civil marriage" in all instances where marriage is mentioned in state laws. It would apply to both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Fitzsimmons says he's proposing the amendment to protect religious institutions that are opposed to same sex marriage.

"What this does with placing civil in front of marriage is that it only highlights again that this is not talking about is necessarily the marriage that's takes place in your church or synagogue," Fitzsimmons said. "This bill is about the civil aspects and the government relations aspects of marriage."

Fitzsimmons declined to say whether he would vote for the bill if his amendment is adopted.

Sen. Branden Peterson, R-Andover, also worked behind the scenes to craft the amendment. Petersen, who is the only Republican to publicly say he'll vote for the bill, says he expects as many as six Republicans to support the same-sex marriage bill if the amendment is adopted.

DFL House Majority Leader Erin Murphy and the bill's co-author say they back the amendment. The House has scheduled a vote on the bill tomorrow.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.