Marriage and Family Protection Act
Last week, I got a surprise visit from David Strand, a good friend and a great activist on GLBT issues both within the Green Party (David helped form the Lavender Greens) and elsewhere. He had come down to City Hall to talk to me about a bill currently before the Legislature: the Marriage and Family Protection Act. I encourage you to read it, especially the findings, which are powerful, beautiful and, in my opinion, unquestionably true.
If enacted, this bill will prevent Minnesota from discriminating against GLBT members of our community by preventing them from marrying their partners of choice. It will also require that the gender-neutral term "spouse" replace all instances in law of "husband" and "wife."
I share David's enthusiasm for this bill, so when he asked me to check if it was currently on the City's Legislative Agenda as a support item, I was surprised to find that it wasn't. When David stopped by City Hall I made sure he had some time to make his case to the Intergovernmental Relations Committee chair, Betsy Hodge's office (thanks for being so flexible Ben). I don't serve on the committee and so couldn't introduce there myself, but David took the initiative to also bring the issue to Elizabeth Glidden who did bring it forward. It passed unanimously in committee earlier this week, and passed unanimously from the full Council on Friday.
I'm proud to have played a part - along with David, Elizabeth, Betsy, and the rest of my colleagues - in making sure the City is out front in supporting equal rights for all. I also thank the state legislators, including Senate authors Marty , Higgins , Dibble , Moua , and Torres Ray who have had the courage and wisdom to bring this forward. I wish them the best in their efforts.