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Gay marriage debate returns to the Capitol

A Senate committee voted to ask voters if they want to amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.  For almost a decade lawmakers have been debating whether to ban gay marriage, but this is the first

A Senate committee voted to ask voters if they want to amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.  For almost a decade lawmakers have been debating whether to ban gay marriage, but this is the first time Republicans have controlled the House and Senate making its passage very likely.  Constitutional amendments don’t need a governor’s approval. 

Most of the hearing featured the same people we’ve heard from for years on the issue, many religious leaders from many faiths testified on both sides of the issue.  The media were looking for some new voices and 24-year old Republican Madeline Koch will get plenty of attention for saying “As a Republican I ask you not to pass this, it will force future Republicans away and we’ll have to spend valuable time later to undo your mistakes.”  But bill author Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) said “We’re giving the public an opportunity to decide policy.”   Lawmakers will debate it tonight on Almanac.