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LIVE VIDEO: Same-Sex Marriage Bill to Be Announced Today

Opponents vow half-million dollar offensive to counter legalization.

 

On Wednesday morning, Minnesota legislators are scheduled to introduce a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Watch the announcement live on Patch, courtesy of TheUptake! Tune in to this webpage at 10 a.m.

At 10 a.m., Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61) and Reps. Karen Clark (DFL-62A) and Steve Simon (DFL-46B) will join Rabbi Michael Latz from Minneapolis' Shir Tikvah synagogue and United Church of Christ leader Rev. Karen Smith Sellers to formally announce the introduction of a legalization bill. All five were prominent leaders in the defeat of a 2012 state constitutional amendment seeking to ban same-sex marriage.

The legislation is co-authored by state Sen. Brad Peterson (R-35). National same-sex marriage opponents have vowed to unseat Peterson if he goes ahead with his sponsorship of the bill. 

“Republicans like Branden Petersen don’t realize that not only is voting to redefine marriage a terrible policy, it is also a career-ending vote for a Republican,” National Organization for Marriage head Brian Brown said in a statement emailed to reporters. “NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage."

In the same announcement, NOM pledged $500,000 to unseat any Republican who supported same-sex marriage, and to support any Democrat who opposed same-sex marriage with an equal amount of money.

Legalization opponents recently floated a "counter offer" that would create a special class of legal partnerships, as between an adult serving as their sibling's caretaker, that same-sex couples could also access. The proposal only would grant same-sex couples a fraction of the rights included in civil marriage, and has been unpopular with same-sex marriage advocates.

Same-sex marriage advocates have so far been bullish about their chances for passing the bill and are trying to turn the network of volunteers who helped defeat the 2012 amendment into a tool to get same-sex marriage legalization passed.

Anna Wills, the GOP legislator representing Apple Valley, said Tuesday afternoon that the issue is a distraction from the government's main task: building a "healthy environment for job growth."

She noted that Democrats had often accused Republicans of focusing on divisive social issues, and that DFL representatives are now "turning around and doing the same thing."

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