Sen. Marty and Rep. Hausman plan to introduce marriage equality bill early this session

Marty (left) and Hausman (right) want to legalize gay marriage as soon as possible.
Marty (left) and Hausman (right) want to legalize gay marriage as soon as possible.

In the wake of last month's defeat of the marriage amendment, DFL leaders seem less than enthusiastic about getting a marriage equality bill passed this session. Senate Majority Leader-elect Tom Bakk, for instance, says he wants his caucus to focus on economic issues, not divisive social ones, when it convenes next month.

SEE ALSO: DFL leaders "won't pass a bill legalizing" gay marriage this session... or will they?

But soon, ready or not, legislators may have to put their cards on the table when it comes to the marriage issue. According to a report from ECM Publishers, Sen. John Marty, D-Roseville, and Rep. Alice Hausman, D-St. Paul, plan to introduce a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the early days of the upcoming legislative session.

From ECM's T.W. Budig:

"To me, I think the time has come," said Marty, who has sponsored same-sex marriage bills in the past.

Hausman and Marty argue passage of same-sex marriage legislation needn't be time consuming nor distract from the mission of setting the state budget.

Marty speaks of a two-hour debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee and an up or down vote.

Hausman is a bit more cautious, saying the number of committees a same-sex marriage bill might need to clear in the House depends on its legal implications and the desire of House leadership.

But she also looks to passing a bill before the final state budget numbers come out in the forecast.

In the report, House Minority Leader-elect, Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, preemptively dings Dems like Marty and Hausman for alleged hypocrisy.

"What the DFL's message [in the election] was, is that we shouldn't be focused on divisive social issues," Daudt told ECM. "It's interesting how roles have switched."

Daudt can ding Dems all he wants, but with DFL majorities in both chambers and Gov. Dayton on the record saying he'll sign a marriage equality bill, there's not much the MNGOP can do to stop it from becoming law. So here's the key question: Do DFL legislators have the political will to make it happen this session?

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