Gay marriage bill formally introduced - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Gay marriage bill formally introduced

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC/AP) -- A group of Republican lawmakers are calling for the defeat of the bill to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota, while others believe more and more Minnesotans are open to the idea.

Bill backers said last fall's defeat of a constitutional gay marriage ban shows the state is ready for gay marriages.  But Republicans say voters only rejected putting the ban in the constitution, and that it shouldn't be seen as an endorsement of gay marriage

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R-Glencoe) says being gay is a choice. 

"The human genome map was completed in 2003," he said.  "There is no gay-gene. To believe that your are born that way, based on current evidence, is an unscientific lie."

"Minnesotans really are married to let folks get married," said Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL- Minneapolis). "We saw the strong vote from last year in terms of that debate. And I think only good things happen when people get married. Families are stronger. Communities are stronger. Democracy and freedom are expanded."

The bill has an exemption that no church would be forced to perform gay weddings.  Leaving the decision up to each individual church.

The committees are expected to hear the bill in the next coming days.

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