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LGBT Issues and Marriage Equality

     

    John Marty believes in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. He has been a strong, consistent advocate for LGBT rights during his two decades in the Minnesota Senate. Rooted in his faith and his commitment to social justice, John supports the rights of all Minnesotans to marry the person they love.

    Marriage Equality. John is the author of the marriage equality legislation currently under consideration at the Capitol. He introduced the legislation back in 2008 and has been pushing for its passage. Some have argued that this legislation is premature. But ending discrimination against gay couples is long overdue, and most Minnesotans will recognize the fundamental fairness of allowing every adult to choose his or her own marriage partner.

    To John, this is a critical civil rights and fairness issue. Minnesota's current marriage law discriminates against same-sex couples denying them and their families of rights and responsibilities including the right to pension and Social Security survivor's benefits, the right to family and medical leave, and numerous other benefits and obligations.

    Minnesota's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage serves no legitimate government purpose and is contrary to the public interest. The state has an interest in encouraging stable relationships regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the partners, and the entire community benefits when couples undertake the mutual obligations of marriage.

    Despite longstanding discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Minnesotans, many are in lasting, committed, and caring relationships with persons of the same sex. These couples share lives together, participate in their communities together, and many raise children and care for dependent family members together. Permitting same-sex couples to marry would further Minnesota's interest in promoting family relationships and protecting family members during life crises. And, fundamental fairness requires that same-sex couples be permitted to marry on the same terms as heterosexual couples.

    Also, the state should not interfere with the religious beliefs of its people. Just as a church or religious denomination that objects to same-sex marriage has the right to refuse to solemnize those marriages, a church or religious denomination that believes in the value of same-sex marriage should have the right to solemnize those marriages.

    Bans on gay marriage have been painful setbacks for people who want to marry the partner they love; couples who want nothing more than the same rights and responsibilities other married couples have. It's time for our laws to reflect that the people of Minnesota care about all families.

    Health & Wellness. John has authored legislation to prevent HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. He supports common sense solutions including comprehensive sexuality education, access to contraception regardless of income, and targeted education and outreach to at-risk communities to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. John is continuing to work for the passage of his single-payer Minnesota Health Plan, and to make sure that comprehensive sexuality education is taught in all schools. Under his leadership, Minnesota will invest in prevention, saving lives and money.

    Record and Agenda:

    There has been no non-LGBT legislator who has done more to advance the cause of LGBT rights than John Marty over the past two decades:

    Gay Rights. John fought for and co-authored gay rights legislation back in the late 1980s when it took real courage to do so.

    Opposing DOMA. In 1997, when the legislature and governor passed the so-called "Defense of Marriage" Act (DOMA) to restate the ban on gay marriage, it passed with only a handful of Senators voting no. John not only voted against it, but publicly spoke out in support of same-sex marriage.

    Voting the Right Way. John has a record of voting with the positions important to the LGBT community. He has a 100% OutFront Minnesota voting record, whether the issue is about LGBT youth, bullying and discrimination, domestic partner benefits, or comprehensive sex education. John has always voted for fairness and equality, no matter how strong the political pressure.

    Senator Marty has a long record of courageous and outspoken leadership on issues facing Minnesota. Perhaps the best way to illustrate his vision and leadership is to use his own words. Click on the links below to see John's columns on some key issues facing Minnesota.