The Marriage and Family Protection Act is getting traction at the Minnesota Capitol, bill supporters said Tuesday. Numerous legislators have offered their support for the legislation, so much so that a duplicate bill has been drafted in the Senate to allow for more sponsors, and a multipartisan coalition of organizations are hosting a rally for the bill on Thursday. The legislation would create gender-neutral laws in Minnesota, allowing same-sex couples access to the same benefits legally married couples enjoy.
The bill has already been submitted in the Senate by Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, with Sens. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis; Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis; Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul; and Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-Minneapolis. Because Senate bills have a limit of five sponsors, Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, has drafted a duplicate bill to allow other senators to show their support. In addition to Pappas, Sens. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St. Paul, and Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, have signed on.
The House hasn’t seen the bill offered yet, but the draft is making the rounds and has already picked up 23 cosponsors. Rep. Phyllis Kahn is the chief author, and bill supporters say the list of House DFLers supporting the bill is long: Reps. David Bly, Northfield; Karen Clark, Minneapolis; Jim Davnie, Minneapolis; Mindy Greiling, Roseville; Alice Hausman, St. Paul; Jeff Hayden, Minneapolis; Bill Hilty, Finlayson; Frank Hornstein, Minneapolis; Thomas Huntley, Duluth; Sheldon Johnson, St. Paul; Carolyn Laine, Columbia Heights; John Lesch, St. Paul; Tina Liebling, Rochester; Dianne Loeffler, Minneapolis; Carlos Mariani, St. Paul; Erin Murphy, St. Paul; Michael Paymar, St. Paul; Maria Ruud, Minnetonka; Linda Slocum, Richfield; Cy Thao, St. Paul; Jean Wagenius, Minneapolis; and Ryan Winkler, Golden Valley.
Thursday afternoon from 2:30 to 4 p.m., bill supporters will hold a rally marking Freedom to Marry Day as well as rallying behind the Marriage and Family Protection Act. Organizations sponsoring the rally include Join The Impact – Twin Cities, Marriage Equality Minnesota, OutFront Minnesota, Rainbow Families, Minnesota Lavender Greens, Stonewall DFL, Green Party of Minnesota, Marry Me Minnesota, Minnesota chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, and the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization of Women.