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Sen. Marty: Iowa gay marriage ruling boosts Minnesota efforts

State Sen. John Marty, author of a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would give equal rights to same-sex couples, said the recent Iowa court ruling in favor of gay marriage will be a boost to efforts here.

"There was strong opposition to gay marriage back in 2003 and 2004, but much of that opposition was based on fear and misunderstanding. Same-sex marriage was a concept that most Minnesotans were not familiar with," the Roseville DFLer said. "However, Minnesotans are fair-minded, and willing to listen. As more LGBT people have come out of the closet, the public is getting to know wonderful gay and lesbian families.

"Times are changing. Same-sex marriage has come to the Midwest. When Iowa couples begin getting married this month, there won’t be riots in the streets of Des Moines. Instead, there will be wedding ceremonies, with happy couples, in churches and courthouses from Keokuk to Sioux City.

"Minnesota lesbian and gay families deserve the same rights that our neighbors in Iowa have. They deserve the right to have each other and their children qualify for the health care benefits they get at work. They deserve the right to visit each other in the hospital, the right to inherit each others property, and hundreds of other rights that most families take for granted."

He said it's unlikely his legislation will pass this year, but he does still hope to get a hearing on the bill this year. As for the future:

"The promise of marriage equality for all Minnesota families is within reach, and may well be realized in less than three years,” he said.

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Comments (3)

Economic issues matter and marriage is an economic issue. Studies show that married people are slightly healthier (less costs) and wealthier (pay more taxes) than their single counterparts and this is true for gay people as well. Therefore, it is in the state's best economic interest to grant marriage equality. This is because the contract of marriage comes with thousands of rights and responsibilities.

Senator Marty is a gift to families like ours who have a gay child. We need more elected officials with his common sense and his deep compassion to speak out for equality.

Marriage equality will come. It is only a matter of time. The day will come when we look back at this time of struggle for marriage equality and we will remember those who had the courage to be leaders for equality. Senator Marty's
grandchildren will proudly know their grandfather was not only a voice for equality but one that led on this issue.

Our family says thank you!

I sincerely appreciate Senator Marty's efforts to make marriage equal. We need his leadership and voice in this state more than ever in a time like today. He has been talking about GLBT Rights way before most other MN Democrats would ever address the issue!! I have worked to fight for GLBT rights for most of my life and it is so exciting to hear a politician put a time frame on legalizing Same Sex Marriage. Less than 3 years! GLBT families and allies are sick of waiting, sick of hearing from other politicians that its just not the time! Thank you Senator Marty!