“To me, I think the time has come,” said Marty, who has sponsored same-sex marriage bills in the past.
Hausman and Marty argue passage of same-sex marriage legislation needn’t be time consuming nor distract from the mission of setting the state budget.
Marty speaks of a two-hour debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee and an up or down vote.
Hausman is a bit more cautious, saying the number of committees a same-sex marriage bill might need to clear in the House depends on its legal implications and the desire of House leadership.
But she also looks to passing a bill before the final state budget numbers come out in the forecast.
Democrats control the legislature.
Dayton has long indicated his support for same-sex marriage, ceremonially vetoing the proposed marriage amendment when passed by the Republican-controlled legislature last session.
If lawmakers take their cue from voters in their districts, passage of the same-sex marriage legislation will be bipartisan, Hausman argues.
That’s because the amendment failed in about 20 districts that elected Republican House members, she said.
“It’s bipartisan,” she said of the perceived support.
Marty and Hausman stress passage of same-sex marriage legislation — Marty speaks of gender-neutral marriage law — would not require churches to marry same-sex couples.
“No church will be forced to marry (same-sex couples) if they don’t want to,” Marty said.
But because the Catholic Church, for instance, might debate same-sex marriage for decades, that shouldn’t prevent the state from taking action now, Marty said.
But Marty’s and Hausman’s views do not perfectly fit those expressed by DFL legislative leaders.
Senate Majority Leader-designate Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, anticipates that same-sex marriage legislation will be introduced.
About 1.4 million Minnesotans voted “Yes” on the marriage amendment defining marriage as between man and woman, with about 1.5 million voting “No.”
About 40,000 voters left the amendment ballot question blank, an omission or decision that automatically translated into a “No” vote.