House committee moves gay marriage ban forward - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

House committee moves gay marriage ban forward


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- The Rules Committee of the Minnesota House narrowly approved a floor vote on the constitutional gay marriage amendment Wednesday, and opponents are speaking out about the measure.

The committee voted 13-12 Wednesday to put the issue before the full House. The committee's Republican majority voted in favor, with one defection from Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing. If approved,voters would be asked in 2012 to decided if they want to uphold the measure.

"There are people who basically want to vote on the validity of our family," says Alisa Walz-Flannigan who lives with her partner Laura D'Ambrosio in Rochester.

For three years, the two have stood by each other through good times and bad and are even raising Alisa's 6-year-old son together, they'd like to get married someday but see this proposal as pushing the prospect off even further.

"I've talked to people who are against same sex marriage and they get to know us and see we're no different," says Alisa.

Sitting in the backyard of their Rochester home Wednesday afternoon, the two talked about the impact this would have on their family, "I just happen to be that group right now that's being discriminated against but it could be any group and there's something fundamentally wrong with that," added D'Ambrosio.

"People that this really affects are our families and gay and lesbian youth that are hurt by homophobia," says Alisa.

But that fear is on both sides of the issue, for supporters it's a fundamental question of changing the definition of marriage.

"One of the things I've liked about living in Minnesota is this inclusiveness and openness and putting an amendment like this in violates that."

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