For the last few weeks Richfield Patch has been covering the gay marriage amendment issue as it passed through the Minnesota House and Senate.
Our coverage began with a Letter to the Editor from domestic partners Philip Lowe, Jr. and Jason King, detailing what a detriment the passing of the amendment would be to the LGBT community. The letter received a lot of attention and comments from readers, some for and some against the amendment.
The Senate passed their version of the bill 38-27 May 11. After its passage, Richfield Patch spoke with State Sen. Ken Kelash (DFL-Richfield) and Rep. Linda Slocum (DFL-Richfield) to get their reactions to the passage of the bill.
Kelash said he didn't feel it was the government's place to tell someone who they can or cannot love.
"[The amendment is] just flat out discrimination," he said. "And what's amazing is that I have two college-age daughters who can't even understand why this is an issue."
While Kelash focused most of his comments on the human rights aspect of the bill, Slocum said she viewed the bill as a distraction from the "real issue," which is the state's seemingly unending battle to balance the budget.
Once the House passed the bill in a late-night Saturday session, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL-Richfield/Minneapolis) spoke quite frankly with Patch, calling the passage of the bill a "fundamental failure."
"My reaction is [one of] deep disappointment in the State Legislature," Thissen said.
"This [bill] is not consistent with the values of Minnesota."
Again, readers responded in groves to share their thoughts about the bill, marriage itself and Thissen on this article.
The Minnesota State Legislature's regular session has ended, however this issue will likely remain at the front of many minds until Minnesotans are asked to vote on it in November 2012. Richfield Patch will continue to look at this issue from other angles.