DFL leaders say they have votes to get marriage equality done this week
Sen. Dibble (left) and Rep. Thissen say marriage equality is basically a done deal.
Before this weekend is in the books, marriage equality might be approved by the Minnesota House and Senate.
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Today, DFL leaders in both chambers say they believe they already have the votes in place. The House has scheduled a floor vote for Thursday, and Sen. Scott Dibble, chief sponsor of the marriage equality bill in the Senate, said his chamber could vote on the companion bill as soon as Saturday. Gov. Mark Dayton, of course, has said he'll sign the bill if it reaches his desk.
While marriage equality does have some MNGOP support in the Senate, no Republican House members have yet pledged to vote in favor of the bill. Politics in Minnesota reports that as of last count, 63 House members have said they'll vote in favor of the bill, but 68 are needed for approval.
However, House Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, has previously said he wouldn't put gay marriage legislation to a full vote in his chamber unless he knew he had the votes to get it approved.
According to the Pioneer Press, Thissen said today, "We're still having conversations, but I think we have the votes."
"This hasn't been something we've been twisting peoples' arms on. It's about talking to people, hearing from constituents and those undecided legislators ultimately listening to their heart," Thissen continued.
PiM reports that "There are several amendments being prepped for the debate on Thursday, including one from Red Wing GOP Rep. Tim Kelly to allow civil unions in the state." But the House DFL's move to schedule a vote and Dibble's confidence about the support marriage equality enjoys in the Senate indicates that legislative leaders don't believe any significant hurdles remain in the way of getting marriage equality past the finish line this session.
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