The House Ways and Means Committee is set to take up a bill that would legalize gay marriage tonight. Three southeast Minnesota lawmakers serve on the committee. So just how do they plan to vote? I put that question to all three of them today.
Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, said she will cast a "yes" vote in committee to move the bill forward. As for how she will vote on the bil when it gets to the House floor, she said she is leaning towards voting yes.
"People are still weighing in on both sides, but I am leaning towards supporting it," she said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, said he is a firm no on gay marriage.
"I believe very strongly that marriage is between one man and one woman," he said. "Many people say they are struggling with this vote. They think it's a tough vote. For me, it's the easiest vote I will take all session."
Then there's Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona. He sent an email outlining his position on the issue. And while he did not specificially state how he plans to vote, he makes it clear he does not think the House should be taking up social issues before work on the budget bills are completed. Below is a copy of his email.
"This is a social issue that should be dealt with only after the legislature completes its work on the budget. This must be true of all social issues this session. The long standing budget problems of Minnesota have to be resolved with finality. This means raising revenue and balancing the budget with permanent funding streams. It will require our full attention.
There is next session. By that time the budget issues should not only be resolved but Minnesota should be in a position to reinvest once again in improving our quality of life. The new majorities created by the November elections should govern in the best interests of all of Minnesota and not just placate political bases. In the 2010 and 2012 elections Minnesotans rejected DFL majorities in 2010 and Republican majorities in 2012 because they governed from their political left wing and right wing bases.
It is time to govern with a firmness and fairness that will allow social issues to be addressed not from the far left or the far right but with dignity for everyone."