Capitol Crowds Swell As Gay Marriage Vote Looms

By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

ST. PAUL (WCCO/AP) — Hundreds of activists on both sides of the gay marriage debate crowded the State Capitol in preparation for a House vote that has yet not yet happened.

The bill is expected to be taken up by the Minnesota House later Thursday afternoon. If approved, it could land on Minnesota’s 2012 election ballot.

“To think that heterosexual couples have the market on marriage seems ridiculous,” said Gennae Falconer, a same-sex marriage supporter. “I think there’s a lot of ignorance about the issue of homosexuality and people fear it.”

On Wednesday, the Rules Committee narrowly approved a floor vote on the gay marriage amendment. The vote resulted in tears and outbursts from those in attendance.

Falconer says the government should not have any say in the personal lives of Minnesotans.

“I don’t think it’s any of their business,” said Falconer. “I know a lot of very committed gay and lesbian couples. I think they deserve the same rights as we do.”

On the other end, those who support the bill were also at the Capitol as well and say the House should approve it and leave it up to voters in 2012.

“It’s important for the people of the state of Minnesota to vote on this very important bill,” said Cathy Toner. “I just think marriage is very important and the family structure has deteriorated over the years. I think it’s an important thing for everyone in Minnesota to be involved in.”

Amy Kritzer is supporter of same-sex marriage and feels if left up to voters the amendment would pass.

“I think we should have equal rights,” said Kritzer.

Kritzer has been in a traditional marriage for 42 years. She feels those rights should be given to gay couples as well.

“I think it would be a sad day if it passes,” said Kritzer. “If it did pass and it seems like it will, then people like myself who are strongly in support of gay rights will mobilize and try to make sure that it doesn’t become part of the state constitution.”

Both the Minnesota Family Council, which supports the ban, and OutFront Minnesota, which opposes it, alerted supporters that a House vote might come Thursday afternoon. But the House didn’t take up the amendment, and leaders in that chamber are tight-lipped about when they might.

Capitol security officers say there were no arrests.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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One Comment

  1. JB says:

    Why a rally? Is the majority rule not what we are about? So lets allow the majority to rule, since neither party is willing to vote on this.

    1. James says:

      Actually the courts temper the majority if it subverts the rights of a minority, and gays are certainly that. So no, we are not just majority rule.

    2. James says:

      We shouldn’t discriminate against people, even if 51% of the people think we should. This issue should never come to a vote. Where does it end? Whose rights will we vote to subvert next time?

    3. Brian says:

      JB. Rallies are part of American democracy. That is how we fight injustice!

      If the majority ruled to re-instate slavery, should we do it? The Constitution is supposed to protect rights, not to take them away.

      If we had put slavery to a “majority rule” vote in the 1800’s, there probably wouldn’t have been a civil war and black people would still be enslaved today. You can’t always follow the majority on things.

      1. Brian says:

        And before anyone says anything — YES, I realize my response above is a gross over-simplification in order to make a point.

        1. marble says:

          But a good point.

    4. eastside_evil says:

      Our country does not allow for majority rule when it comes to deciding the rights of a minority. Sadly, that is exactly what is happening anyway. Talk about an end-around.

      1. Ambrosia says:

        Can you please explain the perversion of this minority? Honestly. Please break it down for me.

        1. Dave says:

          I would place a bet that the comment from “Family Values” is from a pro-gay marriage advocate. Still, I suppose the comment is correct, in principle.

          If the minority of people who advocate sex with children comes advocating for rights, I am sure that the majority will be unfazed, and rightly view their behavior as perverted.

          1. MARK says:

            Because having sex with children is immoral by anyone’s standards and is ILLEGAL. Adult, consenting gay couples getting married is not immoral and should not be illegal.

            What a ridiculous comparison. Is this is the best argument the anti-gay marriage bigots can muster?

            1. Jude says:

              Mark…they don’t have any valid arguments; proven by the prop8 case.

          2. Brian says:


            You can’t usurp a minority’s rights in favor of the majority’s wishes. However, you CAN usurp rights if they infringe upon others’ rights.

            Gay marriage in no way infringes on your rights, because it doesn’t affect you or your marriage in any way. However, sex with children infringes on their rights and is illegal because they aren’t mature enough to make decisions about sex.

            There is a HUGE gap in your argument here.

          3. Ambrosia says:

            You still owe an explanation of how gay marriage in any way, shape or form would prohibit heterosexual couples from not only reproducing but providing a stable home. How does one effect the other?

          4. stace34 says:

            Which is the same argument that was used to justify not repealing laws that were on the books about interracial marriage. Plus giving adults the right to marry has nothing to do with child abuse. The argument is made to push the fear and ignorance button. Just as it was in the past.

        2. Kate says:

          Who are you to judge it is a perversion? What makes you think everyone holds to your ideas? I’m guessing based on your interpretation of the bible. But not everyone interprets the bible the same way you do.

          Since no one is going to try to talk you into being gay, don’t worry about why some people are born gay and don’t try to force them to believe your version of the bible.

      2. Alert U says:

        Some people think that inter-racial relations are a perversion. Next you folks will be going to make inter-racial marriage a crime as it used to be. Next the 14th Amendment is repealed all done in “good faith” because election victories has given you that right. The Tea/Gop agenda is on a roll. More specifically a roll-back. Pretty soon, America will be like it was in 1790.

      3. MARK says:

        “Family Values,” I don’t care about your twisted definition of the word pervert. Keep it in church.

    5. Kim says:

      So it is ok to discriminate against the minority because they are the minority? What about protecting the rights of all, minorities included? Hmmm, Lutherans are a minority. I think we should not allow them to marry. After all, they believe something different from me. And the fact that someone different is out there trying to have the same rights as me makes me mad. Who do they think they are?

      1. Linz says:

        Nicely said.

      2. tuna-free dolphin says:

        We discriminate all the time. You do it as much as anyone. We as a society make moral judgments every day, then we pass laws which discriminate against those who would break it. It’s the way this works. There is a law saying a man can’t marry a duck. Are we discriminating against him? Yes we are, and we should. Many people are members of NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy love association. Is it OK if we discriminate against them? They see nothing wrong with their lifestyle choice. We can, should, must discriminate against those who would pervert marriage to be what ever they wish it was. One man, one woman. That’s what it has always been, it’s what it is, and what it should always be.

        1. stace34 says:

          Again another one making the exact same argument that was made to justify the laws against interracial marriage. I guess if the hate rhetoric is good it is classic and timeless. tuna-free dolphin you must be so proud to be in that company of people who can make this argument.

        2. Marilyn says:

          Excellent!!! very good!! marriage has always been and should always be: one man and one woman.

          1. Amanda says:

            And just because you say so…

          2. Good Ol Boy says:

            Marilyn, we all would like to vote that you can only consummate your marriage while standing and facing away from your spouse.

            We voted.

            Deal with it.

            The Majority

  2. it's the 21st century says:

    Wow, when I thought politicians couldn’t get more bigoted and ignorant they prove me wrong. Seriously, they’re worried about the “sanctity of marriage” when people marry and divorce several times, do it for fun and have extra marital relationships and we’re told to look the other way?! Because they’re straight? Give me a break. I’m straight and have a healthy and very happy marriage because of LOVE…not gender.

    1. Dave says:

      Well, who says that divorce and extra-marital relationships are right either? This line of argument is not convincing. If people are against gay marriage, it stands to reason that they will be against divorce and “open” marriages as well. At least, they better be.

      Anyway, marriage should only be given a privileged place by the state so that a stable environment is created for the upbringing of children, which is obviously vital for the future of society. Since gay relationships are not able to produce children, I don’t see a compelling reason for society to give them the rights thereof.

      1. Ambrosia says:

        Using your logic if a man and a woman were infertile they should not be able to be married as well.

        There are plenty of people who are married who have no plans on having children.

        Try again.

      2. eastside_evil says:

        My wife and I have no intentions of having children together.

        Is our marriage invalid because it doesn’t meet your definition?

        When will we be allowed to decide what YOU do, Dave? I want a list of things you like and do, and we’ll vote and get back to you to tell you which ones we will no longer allow you to do.

        1. Dave says:

          Whether or not someone’s relationship can be called a “marriage” and privileged by society or not in no way restricts what someone can do. Your argument is at about a kindergarten level.

          If a man wants to marry his sister, or his horse, the state will not allow it, but that in no way restricts him from doing whatever he pleases with his sister, or his horse.

          1. Mark says:

            Yes, actually it does. A civil union is vastly inferior in terms of legal rights compared to a marriage. If a gay family adopts children are they contributing less? Do we really have a child shortage? Is promoting procreation really a good idea?

            Time for our government to get out of the marriage business, civil unions only, for any two consenting adults. A marriage between a couple and God belongs in the church and has no place in the court house and vice versa.

            If we truly want to encourage an increase in population, attach the benefits to people who actually have children not just couple who could theoretically procreate without any of the various means of having children that exist today.

          2. James says:

            Horse Dave? Really? Try something that has more critical thinking than to imply that somehow that’s related. It’s really another form of bullying and has not merit. Yawn.

          3. Brian says:


            Ince$t and bea$tiality are both quite illegal in Minnesota. Perhaps you are from a state where this is legal? Maybe keep your thoughts about your sister and your horse to yourself?

          4. stace34 says:

            That is the same argument that was used when the majority voted to keep the bans of interracial marriages. Good company you keep with your logic.

      3. MARK says:

        I’m married to a woman and we have no plans to have children. Should our marriage certificate be revoked?

        1. tuna-free dolphin says:


      4. Chloe says:

        Why in the world should marriage “only be given a privileged place” for the upbringing of children? What about straight couples who choose not to have children? Do they not deserve the right to get married? That makes no sense at all. Marriage should be about two people, any two people, loving each other. Who is the state of Minnesota to tell anyone who can or cannot love? What happens in any couples home is their business and only their business. The government should focus their efforts on legal and political issues that are more important to the citizens that choose to live here.

        1. Dave says:

          Sure, there can be individual couples who either cannot or choose not to have children, but a man and a woman is typically a life-giving pair. There is no way to know with CERTAINTY whether a given couple will be fertile, and no way to know whether a couple’s plans may change if they choose not to have children (or whether a child may result anyway, despite their best efforts to thwart that outcome.)
          The state is not, and should not be, interested in the minutiae of whether an individual couple might not be capable of producing a child (even assuming it were possible to find out for certain); in general, they are fertile.
          Marriage is not necessary for there to be love between a couple. That is a non sequitur.

          1. James says:

            It IS necessary for legal and financial stability and census. You know that.

          2. stace34 says:

            Sure there are ways to find out with certainly whether people are futile or not. I guess you have never been to a doctor. they have these tests that are possible to check these things. Try again.

      5. James says:

        With that argument Dave, then Polygomy (more than one wife) has a very compelling reason to be legal. They can produce many more children. So what then is your point?

        1. Dave says:

          Polygamy has nothing to do with my argument. My argument was not that we should encourage as many children as possible, but that the relationship that does produce children should be protected and privileged by society, due to the importance this has to the society.

          And yes, this should probably mean stricter divorce laws as well. Divorce is often a major trauma in the life of a child. Not to say it should be completely illegal, but it shouldn’t be as easy as 1-2-3 to get one either.

          1. MARK says:

            The argument that the government should somehow encourage people to make babies by allowing straight marriage and disallowing gay marriage is absolutely preposterous. Not only does the government have no business encouraging this kind of thing, but look around the world. Humans do not need encouragement to reproduce.

          2. Sue says:

            We are not short on children. We don’t need to be encouraging more. The planet can not support the projected population.

            1. Not True says:

              Bull tweed.

      6. MikeL says:

        Hey Dave – I have children, four legged children. And they are just important to me as a human child. As well, I can produce a child, its call surrogacy. Plenty of heterosexuals use this as a means to produce children. What does that say about their marriage?

        Big FAIL for your argument.

      7. M B says:

        I think you stepped on a landmine here, Dave. My wife and I have no intentions of having children, so is our marriage invalid? You just isolated a whole group of people that even the church approves of.

        The whole rationality of what a marriage is and what “the marriage contract” means has changed, yet people still cling to the old notions. The concept of marriage as a legal term was to provide for common benefits and common property between the couple in an age when the man made all the money. This way, a woman was guaranteed some form of support should the man die or leave her. Women work now so this is technically unnecessary.

        1. Mark says:

          A marriage is religious and belongs in a church. Keep your sacred nonsense together and out of the common government. A civil marriage should just be a civil union, though today they are not equal legally. The civil marriage is a social contract which provides stability for a couple and essentially forms a two person corporation. This provides stability and piece of mind for the two members. This stability is a positive for the society. A civil marriage forms a family in the legal sense and all the rights that go with it, it is not the governments job to define who can be in my family.

          1. not gay but not a bigot says:

            Nor is it your job to define who is in mine.

      8. Sue says:

        So because my widowed 76 year old Mother In Law can’t have kids she isn’t allowed to remarry? What about me, who doesn’t want kids? How would 2 gay people getting married have any affect on her, me or you? It affects the people wanting to get married since it interferes with inheritance and life decisions.

      9. stace34 says:

        So should everyone who gets married be required to have children? Should those who are infertile be ban from having children? If the only reason that you can come up with is that same sex relationships can’t produce children then by default and “marriage” that does not produce children should not count. Further more there are a lot of same sex couples that do have children. Should they be allowed to marry or do only biological children count? I just want to make sure I understand the rules about procreation being the only way to validate marriages.

  3. M B says:

    As was pointed out in the other article about this, gay marriage is already illegal in MN. Why the need for a constitutional ban? Because the Republicans need more control. They want to ram it into the constitution so it will be harder to change later. Laws are easy to change, the constitution is not.

    Again, I hope that it does get to ballot, then I also hope that Minnesotans vote it down by a great margin, then recall the losers behind this distraction. Because that’s all it is: a smoke screen to distract us from the budget woes and their desire to not have public scrutiny too close on it.

  4. Dave says:

    Sure, there can be individual couples who either cannot or choose not to have children, but a man and a woman is typically a life-giving pair. There is no way to know with CERTAINTY whether a given couple will be fertile, and no way to know whether a couple’s plans may change if they choose not to have children (or whether a child may result anyway, despite their best efforts to thwart that outcome.)

    The state is not, and should not be, interested in the minutiae of whether an individual couple might not be capable of producing a child (even assuming it were possible to find out for certain); in general, they are fertile.

    Marriage is not necessary for there to be love between a couple. That is a non sequitur.

    1. James says:

      Well Dave, since you’re arugment against gays and marriage is because they are infertile, well, that is (in your words) minutiae. It then doesn’t hold water.

    2. Kim says:

      Your argument is also one for allowing gay marriage. The state should not be interested in the minutiae of who someone wants to marry.

      The fertility and children question isn’t really relevant to the marriage question. What about a widowed person past the childbearing years? Should they be allowed to get married?

      Why do hetero couples want to get married if marriage is not neccessary?

    3. stace34 says:

      If “The state is not, and should not be, interested in the minutiae of whether an individual couple might not be capable of producing a child (even assuming it were possible to find out for certain); in general, they are fertile.” then why would you ban same sex marriage because the can’t? If reproduction is not necessary for opposite sex couples then it is not necessary for same sex couples. You can’t have it both ways.

  5. Jude says:

    Cathy Toner. “I just think marriage is very important and the family structure has deteriorated over the years…..that deterioration didn’t happen because of gay marriage. In fact, the divorce rate has decreased in the states that allow marriage equality. Get educated before making such a remark.

  6. Cry me a river says:

    If Falconer doesn’t want government to interfere with the personal lives of Minnesotans, then we must do away with food stamps, housing assistance, and all the other things that we subsidize having to do with people’s personal lives.

    1. MARK says:

      How ridiculous. Food and housing are basic necessities of life, not “personal lives.” What a misguided post.

  7. Where do you think the idea of marriage came from? says:

    I would challenge those (gay or straight) who want to get married for non-religious reasons to remember where marriage came from and why it is even an institution. Whether you like it or not, you’re getting married based on a centuries-old religious act. Think about it.

    1. Mark says:

      Yeah… see, thing is marriage existed far before any current established religion. If you want to go to the roots of it, it was a pagan ritual. Human mating and pairing existed long before religion, though religion made women property… I guess that was something you would like to see reestablished and put into the constitution too.

    2. MARK says:

      LOL. You had a point centuries ago. These days people get married at City Hall and get tax breaks for doing so. How spiritual.

    3. stace34 says:

      So since my church performs same sex marriage then the state should recognize. If we are basing it off of the fact that “you’re getting married based on a centuries-old religious act” and if my religion recognizes it so should the state?

  8. Denise says:

    WOW people…….if we put all this energy into something that REALLY matters, the world would be a better place!

  9. no tea says:

    If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry a gay.

  10. David Marxer says:

    Why not put this issue on the ballot for the voters to decide? We preach democracy all over the world and are afraid to pratice it at home for fear of the results? News flash—democracy is majority rule…

      1. Alex V says:

        That was a committee vote. It hasn’t made it to the floor yet.

    1. Kim says:

      So it is ok to disciminate as long as a lot of people vote for it? What about the rights of minorities? We’re going to go back to Chinese not being allowed to own property or even keep money in the banks. Or perhaps it is the laws that were early on in the US where Catholics weren’t allowed to hold political offices in some states. Or maybe the laws forcing Japanese to live in internment camps – even when their family had been in the US for multiple generations – and losing all of their posessions. Yes, a lot of discrimination has happened because the majority, or perhaps just a very vocal and virulent minority wanted it that way. Doesn’t mean we should continue discriminating and trying to outlaw activities just becasue we don’t like them. Especially when those activities aren’t harming anyone.

    2. Kate says:

      News flash, democracy also protects the rights of the minority. Democracy also provides for personal freedom. Where is that freedom when trying to outlaw adults from marrying other adults?

      And again, how does it affect you if gays want to marry? Why is it so important to prevent it?

  11. Ambrosia says:

    @John Q – It better be in a hand basket. One hell of a fabulous hand basket.

    But seriously you’re just hammering another nail in the coffin of a baseless argument against gay marriage solely because you’re uncomfortable with it.

  12. Good Ol Boy says:

    If you are arguing that gay marriage should be illegal because it’s “wrong” then aren’t you really saying that being gay is wrong?

    What should be done with gays?

    You don’t want them to do what they want in society, so was ist die “Final Solution” mein Fuhrer?

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