Much to the likely chagrin of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann—who once claimed that gay couples could wed, but only to members of the opposite sex—her home state of Minnesota appears poised to become the latest to legalize same-sex marriage.
Paul Thissen, speaker of the state’s House of Representatives, says his chamber has enough votes to approve the bill when it takes it up Thursday. If it passes, it will head to the Democratic-controlled state Senate, which could vote on it as early as Saturday. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, has already promised to sign the legislation.
If it approves the bill, the North Star State would become the 12th to legalize same-sex marriage and the third to do so this month after Rhode Island and Delaware.
The measure in Minnesota represents a stunning turnaround for the state, where just six months ago voters were debating whether to pass an amendment that would have defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. That initiative was, of course, backed by Bachmann, who has long expressed anti-gay views and also once proposed her own same-sex marriage ban while serving in the state Senate nearly a decade ago.
Voters in Minnesota ultimately rejected the amendment in November.
But here’s what Bachmann said about it in May 2012: “I was proud to introduce the first Constitutional amendment proposal in Minnesota when I served as a Minnesota state senator. I’m pleased that this November, Minnesotans will have an opportunity to vote to defend traditional marriage. I will continue to protect traditional marriage.”
In an amazing twist, it now appears that position will soon put her at odds with the values of her own state.
Last year’s general election results reflected an apparent shift in the public’s attitude toward gay marriage. In addition to Minnesota’s defeat of the proposed gay marriage ban, voters legalized gay marriage in three other states — Maine, Maryland and Washington.
...Richard Carlbom, who heads Minnesotans United, a group that campaigned against last fall’s amendment and has subsequently pushed the gay marriage bill through the legislative process, said the group has been conservative in its vote counting, and that commitments from legislators have been double- and triple-checked.
Carlbom said he hoped those inclined to vote ‘no’ would consider the long view.
“The vote that will be taken in the House on Thursday will be remembered for the next 100 years,” he said.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.