Majority Leader-elect Bakk: "Some real liberal constituencies" pushing marriage equality bill

Bakk wants his caucus to try and forget about social issues for a while.
Bakk wants his caucus to try and forget about social issues for a while.

In 1997, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law banning same-sex marriage. Repeal of that bill would be the first step toward legalizing same-sex marriage here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

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More than 4,000 have now signed a petition calling for marriage equality bill this legislative session. But in remarks made this week to the West Central Tribune, Senate Majority Leader-elect Tom Bakk sounds like he wants his caucus to cool it on social issues for a while.

From the Tribune (emphasis mine):

One issue [Bakk] is fighting is eliminating a law that bans gay marriage.

"We are getting some calls from some real liberal constituencies on the gay marriage issue and repealing the language in statute," Bakk said.

Such requests were expected given the fact that it has been 22 years since Democrats controlled both chambers of the Legislature and held the governor's office. But Bakk said that Democrats have to balance serving their constituencies and adopting the budget.

"One of the challenges will be just to manage all of those expectations," he said.

Later in the piece, he suggests his "some real liberal constituencies" dismissal of marriage equality is more about politics than it is principle.

"I am pretty reluctant to get into anything that is of a divisive nature," Bakk told the Tribune. "There has been enough political rancor around here."

In other words, one of the most important DFLers heading into what should be a very interesting legislative session thinks pushing for repeal of the law banning same-sex marriage -- something united Democratic majorities along with gay-friendly Gov. Dayton could accomplish relatively quickly -- is a political loser, at least for now.

-- Hat-tip: Sally Jo Sorensen's Bluestem Prairie --

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