How quickly things change. Not too long ago, Minnesotans were asked to vote on a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That measure was defeated last November by popular vote. Now, the Minnesota legislature is taking up a bill to legalize same sex marriage, and it appears that the bill will reach the House floor for a vote tomorrow (May 9, 2013) and the Senate floor on Monday, May 13, 2013.
An important aspect of the bill is the repeal of Minnesota’s DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) provision. Minnesota Statute Section 517.03, subd. 1(b) currently provides, “A marriage entered into by persons of the same sex, either under common law or statute, that is recognized by another state or foreign jurisdiction is void in this state and contractual rights granted by virtue of the marriage or its termination are unenforceable in this state.” The bill in process in the legislature would remove the above-referenced DOMA provision from Minnesota law.
If the bill passes, it would set the stage for the dissolution of same sex marriages to be processed in essentially the same manner as the dissolution of other marriages. There will continue to be other proceedings necessary to address child custody, parenting time and parenting plans as they pertain to same sex spouses and co-parents, just as there have been for years other proceedings pertaining to stepparents, adoptive parents and other interested parties connected to child custody cases.
In addition to the District of Columbia, the states that already recognize same sex marriage are:
5. New Hampshire
6. New York
10. Rhode Island