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Sen. Marty: Iowa gay marriage ruling boosts Minnesota efforts

State Sen.

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:

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