State Senator Branden Petersen (R – Andover) is preparing to co-sponsor bipartisan legislation in Minnesota that would ensure that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.
The Star Tribune reported:
“At this point, I am concerned about doing the right thing,” said Petersen, an Andover resident who is married and has two young children. “I have a certain amount of peace about that, and I will let the chips fall where they may.”
Petersen was among a majority of Republican legislators who put a state constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot asking voters to add language banning same-sex marriage. Minnesota became the first state to defeat such an amendment after 30 others had passed similar measures; that result gave opponents what they say is significant momentum to return and try to erase the state’s long-standing law against same-sex marriage.
Petersen said he has several concerns that must be addressed before he will sign onto the measure. He wants to add language guaranteeing that any religious leader can choose not to wed same-sex couples. He also insists that kids in same-sex marriages have the same financial guarantees as children of other married couples in time of divorce.
“It’s only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal,” Petersen said. “I thought it was important to engage the issue now, and when we do it, do it right, and that there’s some perspective from the people I represent in that.”
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry released the following statement in response to this news:
“We are thrilled that Senator Petersen is supporting legislation to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Minnesota, and hope to see more Republicans in that state follow his lead,” said Tyler Deaton of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry Leadership Committee. “In Minnesota and across the country, Republicans are coming to the conclusion that marriage is a basic freedom that should not be denied to some simply because of who they are. Allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry is in the best interest of children, families and communities, and is ultimately the right thing to do.”
Added Madeline Koch, another member of the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry Leadership Committee and a Minnesota resident:
“Freedom means freedom for everyone, and it is wonderful to see Senator Petersen recognize that. As a young conservative, I believe, like the majority of Minnesotans, that marriage is about the love, commitment and responsibility that two people share – and that it is a fundamental freedom that should not be denied. In 2013, we have the tremendous opportunity to ensure that our state law reflects this shared belief. I strongly encourage my fellow Republicans to support this common-sense legislation. The time is now.”