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Sen. Hall Takes Aim at Critics—Gay Marriage Bill Passes Committee

"I'm trying to be a nice guy but I have an opinion," Burnsville Sen. Dan Hall told supporters of gay marriage during a hearing on Tuesday.

Despite strong dissent from Burnsville Republican Sen. Dan Hall, a same-sex marriage bill moved from committee Tuesday to the full Senate. 

Hall stayed mum for the majority of the three hour hearing, but at last spoke up with five minutes left on the clock.

"One (person who testified in support of the bill) said if I don't agree with same sex marriage I must be a bully? They're already name-calling?" Hall said "I have a problem with that. I can't tell you how many letters and tweets I've gotten saying 'You're a bigot' because you disagree."

"I'm trying to be a nice guy but I have an opinion," Hall continued.

Though Hall prefaced his comments by stating that "we want to treat everyone with love and respect," but he implied that homosexual marriages would be harmful to children. Marriage is "about kids," Hall said—raising them to be happy, healthy and productive, though he did not explain why he thought homosexual couples might somehow detract from this stated goal. Marriage between a man and a woman, he said, is "based on truth and values that men and women are complimentary." 

"That's our goal. That's what we should try to obtain—the best, not to push down or make people second rate," Hall said. "You put up the goal, the best to achieve."

This bill, he argued, would further distance "marriage" from "the needs of children, weaken monogamy exclusivity and permanency." He also took issue with several people who had been raised by homosexual parents, who testified that day in support of the bill.

"They say 'We're all fine.' Do really you represent all (the children who have been raised by same sex couples)?" Hall said. "Not the ones I've talked to."

Hall further questioned gay couples' motives in seeking out marriage as recognized by the state of Minnesota.

"Is it about romantic sexual relationship or is it about the benefits, the money? What is it you really want?" Hall said. "God is the only one that defines marriage. It is not a selfish act, it is a giving act."

Nevertheless, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate File 925, the bill introduced by Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. The committee split squarely along  party lines, 5-3 vote Tuesday afternoon. Joining Hall were Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), Sen. Julianne Ortmann, a Republican whose district includes Chaska and Chanhassen, both of whom cast dissenting votes.

Dibble's bill received support from Committee Chair Sen. Ron Latz (DFL—Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Plymouth) and DFLers Richard Cohen of St. Paul, Kathy Sheran of Mankato, and Kari Dziedzic of Minneapolis, and Barb Goodwin of Columbia Heights.

To watch video of the committee's discussion and vote on the bill, click on the  video at the top of this post or watch it at the UpTake's Livestream webpage.

Lew Grandifer March 13, 2013 at 09:52 AM
Discrimination is something that should not exist, but there are limits. Gay "marriage" and "child adoption" are the ones. Homosexuality is not value, as biological anomaly it is rather embarrassment for any society. Are parents with gay children happy? Is there any parent indifferent if his/her child appears gay? Are we comfortable with weird gay extravagance in our neighborhoods? If all is no then why any overindulgence to such distastefulness. To avoid "discrimination" with conflicting "marriage" and "family" they could settle with something like "gayrriage" and "gaymily". Child adoption must remain off limits until adoptee is capable expressing own will. Under no circumstances I would accept my adoption in a "gaymily". Imagine what kind of bullying such children would be exposed in schools, not to mention growth disturbance. As invasive specie getting a toehold in the environment, gay's aggressive activism continually expands. With repealed DADT in the Military, soon there will be demands for their Same Sex Spouse into Wives Clubs, extra Pride Parades for them, etc. Proverbial saying, give them an inch then they want a Mile.
Grant MacDonald March 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM
The Bible & Torah should be banned! Here are several really loving excerpts from the Torah; the first five books of the Old Testament in the bible -- perhaps read to the congregation on Friday night at a synagogue or a Sunday morning church in the meadow. 1. Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10 2. Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16 3. Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own. Deuteronomy 17:2-7. Rabbinical / Priestly rules: Leviticus 21:17-18 … “No one who is blind or lame or has a defect or any blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God.” Leviticus 18:22 … “You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination ….” Rabbis; the pope and churches fully aware that Leviticus 18:22 applies to rabbis and priests … refuse to remove this stigma maliciously persecuting gays. Kids are being bullied into suicide …! Being black, left-handed or being gay is just as natural. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return ... it is something that should be celebrated! If it’s between two guys or two girls -- all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE! www.HolyFaux.com
John Pleschourt March 13, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Unfortunately, the basis for his "dissent" is because Marriage is "About Kids". So, I guess he's also suggesting that infertile couples shouldn't be allowed to marry. Mr. Hall, my request of you is simple. If you have a gay child or grandchild, would you still be in opposition to him/her getting married if they were lucky enough to find that one person that they want to spend the rest of their life with?
Jim Boone March 13, 2013 at 02:43 PM
When we elect local officials to represent our area in the Minnesota Legislature, we can expect our local officials to take their knowledge and experience and focus on a few key areas, such as schools, local business, taxes, or environmental concerns. I am concerned that Senator Hall represents the Burnsville/Lakeville/ Savage area by spending too much of his time, energy, and political influence focusing on divisive social issues. Michelle Bachmann, during her Minnesota Senate career also focused much of her energy on gays. I prefer not to have another Michelle Bachmann to represent the Burnsville area.
James E. Wright March 14, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Mr. Hall, I just want to remind you that marriage is not about kids. Children can certainly be a result of some marriages,however if you don't have a loving, committed couple you have no marriage and kids won't make it one. Marriage is about two consenting, committed, in love adults who are very kindly sharing their love to others in a public or private ceremony. And their open expression of their love and commitment spreads joy and happines to all those lucky enough to be a witness to their love. Also, please stop saying it's not good for kids. There are currently numerous countries where same-sex marriage has being practiced for years and their kids have similar issue of growing-up as hereosexual's kids. What makes a kid good are loving nurturing parents and involved extented family.
Bryn Collins March 14, 2013 at 03:39 AM
I am disgusted to be represented by this narrow, judgmental man.
Joshua March 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM
1) I take it that English is not your primary language, and 2) while I respect your opinion, your comment makes no sense. -What exactly does "adoptee is capable expressing own will" mean? -I assume "Under no circumstances I would accept my adoption in a gaymily" means you are speaking from the child's perspective, which is ridiculous -"Homosexuality is not value, as biological anomaly it is rather embarrassment for any society" -and- "As invasive specie getting a toehold in the environment, gay's aggressive activism continually expands" clearly illustrates what kind of person you really are. As I said, I respect your opinion but you have a lot of nerve posting a comment like this on a community website. Quit frankly I'm surprised Patch even allowed it.
Good as you March 14, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Mr. Hall's current claim to "trying to be a nice guy" is disingenuous at best. Re: "Marriage is "about kids," Hall said" No it isn't. Proof? We let non-procreative heterosexuals marry, do we not? Plus of course, there's that niggling fact that about 30% of gay folks (married or not) are raising children. does Mr. Hall only care about the children of str8 people? My, how 'Christian'. (Not.) In fact, "he implied that homosexual marriages would be harmful to children. Marriage is "about kids," Hall said—raising them to be happy, healthy and productive, though he did not explain why he thought homosexual couples might somehow detract from this stated goal." QED. Re: "Marriage between a man and a woman, he said, is "based on truth and values that men and women are complimentary." That 'complimentary-ness' between men and women only applies to heterosexual men and women. Gay couples are also 'complimentary' - to each other. Re: "God is the only one that defines marriage." What country does he live in? IS America a theocracy now? Do we not let even ATHEISTS marry? Do people not get married at City Halls before a Justice of the Peace anymore - with nary a WORD of 'God-talk'??? If marriage is about "monogamy exclusivity and permanency", how does allowing same-gender couples commit to monogamy exclusivity and permanency "weaken" it? Sorry, Mr. Hall, but if you DO "want to treat everyone with love and respect", you have a strange way of going about it.
Good as you March 14, 2013 at 02:54 PM
My parents were very happy having a gay son. Your comparison of loving, committed, consenting adult relationships to an "invasive specie" [sic] is insulting and unfounded. What part of equality before the law don't you comprehend?
Sa March 14, 2013 at 07:08 PM
The bill was not brought up by the Senator. Thank the dems who are pushing this bill rather then getting MN back to work. I for one, do not want to pay any more taxes to our schools, and this will be just another increase that no one needs. Sorry, it is about benefits. I say end the marriage license all together. Then we do not need to worry, end this debate.
Good as you March 14, 2013 at 08:54 PM
@ Sa, Re: "Thank the dems who are pushing this bill rather then getting MN back to work." Unlike Repubs, Dems can multi-task. Re: "I for one, do not want to pay any more taxes to our schools, and this will be just another increase that no one needs." This isn't about schools or taxes (which, btw, gay people pay too! To educate YOUR kids, no less). Re: "Sorry, it is about benefits." Why are you "sorry"? Those 1,176 Federal "effects that flow from marriage" govern not only benefits but obligations, rights and freedoms too. You haven't actually made a case for denying "benefits" to gay citizens. Care to make one now? Re: "I say end the marriage license all together." Yeah, r-I-I-I-g-h-t. That'll 'please' a lot of heterosexuals.
Sa March 14, 2013 at 09:26 PM
All we have read is tax increase..not one thing to cut spending. Yes they have a spending problem It is about benefits, i read and have friends who are gay. He and I agree, end the marriage license, end the benefits from co. and increase wages. If co. stopped offering a health benefit and just increased wage: 1. we could put many to work in the field. 2. competitive rates when they sell to family/individual vs co. buy the plan you want, want the pill buy the plan with it, what abortion buy the plan with it. We can end all the people complaining on what they want vs being thankful they heave some health coverage. 4. in doing this we do not need this law, reason they began the marriage license was for benefits packages. You can still marry in your church, this was what those who did yrs ago.
Sa March 14, 2013 at 09:29 PM
leave parents to teach what they believe family is. parents can teach respect of other's believes. Government is way to controlling of our life: Bully law teach your child laugh and walk away, a bully does this to tick you off. Women against violence, we have abuse, we have rape, we have do not harm. How many bills to we need not to hurt another person. (PS this will cost us to teach and officer or a teacher this.) harm is harm what is the problem.
Jim Boone March 15, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Actually Sa, It was ironically Senator Hall who helped bring this issue up by passing the attempted constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage last year. The blowback result was the effect of bringing out many more people in favor of equality to elect Democratic majorities. This will go down as one of the biggest political backfires in Minnesota history. Secondly, there was testimony this week that by major corporations, that by passing the current bill, Minnesota becomes further attractive to a young, smart, educated, workforce. This will only help the Minnesota economy, along with good schools to ultimately put more money in your wallet. Unless, you would like to become like a Mississippi. Less govt. spending, poor schools, poor standard of living, low wages. Per the House Majority Leader- this bill will not be considered on the floor until after the budget and other job bills are passed.
Dan Johnson March 20, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Mr. Hall fails to show how treating same sex couples equally under the law will inhibit opposite sex couples from having children or from raising them responsibly. He also ignores many same sex couples already fail to have children responsibly or raise them. Yet we don't limit opposite sex couples to the best he can imagine. He also seems to think denial of equal treatment under the law will stop gay people from being gay and forming families. Gay people have always been around no matter how well accepted or how severely punished. The reality is, gay people have in the past, and will continue to form relationships. The question then becomes, are we going to accept reality and encourage strong, committed relationships around the shared values of family, fidelity, and responsibility, with the help of friends, family, and the government, or is it in the best interest of society to make laws that attack and demean such relationships, causing unjustified harm to those couples and their children. Denial of equal treatment provides nothing to opposite sex couples or their families. It only harms same sex couples and their families for no legitimate governmental purpose.
Dan Johnson March 20, 2013 at 06:49 PM
In addition to the state legal protections there are 1,138 federal rights and protections for married couples and their children in the law. The government must be involved when issues of property division and child custody arise. It is impossible to totally separate marriage from government. While free to try, benefits go far beyond simple financial ones. In the meantime, there is no legitimate governmental interest served by denial of equal treatment to same sex couples under the laws currently in effect. Opposite sex couples lose nothing. It only stops the harm caused to same sex couple families by denial of equal legal treatment under the law as promised in the founding documents and required by the constitution.
Dan Johnson March 20, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Real life rarely lives up to the ideals we can imagine. There have been many marriage type arrangements throughout history, including same sex couplings in humans as well as other species. Even in one man, one woman arrangements, the extended family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, older siblings, often helped with child care. Most people did not travel and move away as they do today, so extended family often lived close by if not in the same house. Women often died in child birth, and men were killed in war or work accidents, not to mention the flu and other illnesses. So having two birth parents throughout life was often not the case. Some people also could not have children, and often adopted. Gay people, just in some animal species, often helped raise the children. So when you accept the reality that families have taken and still take different forms, and we don't use the law to deny equal rights to any of those other families whether they have children or not, it becomes clear that using the law to deny to gay people the same rights granted to others is more about preserving the prejudice and discrimination against gay people than it is protecting the institution of marriage, or the children.
Dan Johnson March 20, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Even Justice Scalia has stated procreation has never been a requirement for marriage.
Dan Johnson March 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Marriage it is a fundamental right of the individual, as affirmed 14 times by the Supreme Court. The only eligibility requirement for fundamental rights is being human. Reasonable restrictions may be made only when a compelling and legitimate governmental interest can withstand judicial scrutiny. Most can agree with the courts that reasonable restrictions include age, ability to demonstrate informed consent, not being closely related, or currently married. While churches may place any restrictions they choose on their own ceremonies, the government can only restrict fundamental rights when a compelling and legitimate justification can be demonstrated. Gender alone is not a restriction. Procreation ability has never been a requirement for marriage, and therefore fails as a legitimate qualification. Yet even that irrational excuse for discrimination ignores the fact that gay people can and do reproduce, and are raising children either biologically related or adopted. Denial of equal treatment under the law provides nothing to opposite sex couple families. It only harms same sex couple families needlessly. Gay couples are seeking to be treated equally under the laws currently in effect, in the remaining states that do not yet recognize their marriages, and by the federal government. Neither tradition nor gender provides a legitimate governmental interest sufficient for denial of this fundamental right.
Dan Johnson March 20, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Restricting equal rights based on "the best" is refuted in Gill v: "But even if Congress believed at the time of DOMA's passage that children had the best chance at success if raised jointly by their biological mothers and fathers, a desire to encourage heterosexual couples to procreate and rear their own children more responsibly would not provide a rational basis for denying federal recognition to same-sex marriages. Such denial does nothing to promote stability in heterosexual parenting. Rather, it "prevents children of same-sex couples from enjoying the immeasurable advantages that flow from the assurance of a stable family structure, when afforded equal recognition under federal law. Moreover, an interest in encouraging responsible procreation plainly cannot provide a rational basis upon which to exclude same-sex marriages from federal recognition because, as Justice Scalia pointed out, the ability to procreate is not now, nor has it ever been, a precondition to marriage in any state in the country. Indeed, "the sterile and the elderly" have never been denied the right to marry by any of the fifty states. And the federal government has never considered denying recognition to marriage based on an ability or inability to procreate. Similarly, Congress' asserted interest in defending and nurturing heterosexual marriage is not "grounded in sufficient factual context for this court to ascertain some relation" between it and the classification DOMA effects."
Good as you March 27, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Succinct, factual arguments. Many thanks, Dan.

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