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State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL – St. Paul) made a motion to re-refer the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage to the Judiciary Policy and Finance committee at the beginning of a floor debate this evening. The speech she made following her motion is below:
“Thank you Mr. Speaker and members. I would like to move that we re-refer this piece of legislation back to the Judiciary Policy and Finance committee. We debate issues that are important, and that are difficult. And we know, especially those who have been here for a while, that the decision that we make touch Minnesota in, in almost every way that they lead their lives. This amendment reaches more deeply, more deeply into the personhood of Minnesotans, and we are talking tonight about who, and how we love each other. The stakes of tonight's debate are so high. We are debating who, and how Minnesotans choose to love one another.
We have had a really intense week. A lot of things have happened this week and I think we're beginning to see now what putting this measure on the ballot will mean for Minnesota for the next 18 months. If we vote yes, tonight in advance this question to the ballot, we're seeing just now, in the Capitol this week, the divisions that we're going to cause across Minnesota, in our communities, within our families, among our neighbors.
When I think about what we have seen this week, I've seen things that I've never seen in my now five years serving the legislature. I've seen Minnesotans removed from committee. I've seen Minnesotans openly weeping in the Capitol. I've seen state troopers offering us protection, and protection for the citizens who are in Capitol, a place where I've always felt safe and free, and a place where those visit me feel safe and free. We've seen blog statements calling for harm to the Speaker of the House and to members of this body. We've seen a prayer gone awry. And Minnesotans have been present day after day, pleading for mercy, asking us to reconsider.
This action members, I think we should reconsider this action. I think we should be more deliberative about this. I'm tired and I know you are too, it's been a long week. I think we should be more deliberative. I think we need to listen more closely to what Minnesotans are saying now about this issue because I think our feelings are changing and we need to listen to that, and hear that, because we are the representatives of the people. I think we need to recognize what we are visiting on Minnesota for the next 18 months if we move this forward tonight.
Members, I ask you please, respectfully, to reconsider this motion, to reconsider this action and support me in a re-referral to the Judiciary committee, to give us time to deliberate, and to think, and to listen more carefully to Minnesotans and what they're telling us. Please. Please support this motion. Thank you."
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