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Latz: ‘Marriage is Not a Uniquely Religious Event’

‘There is no religious content to it at all,’ Latz said during Monday's gay marriage debate. ‘The religious content has been interposed upon the discussion.’

Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 46) said the religious nature of marriage has been “interposed” on the same-sex marriage discussion even though the marriage doesn’t have anything to do with religion under state law.

“It is true—it is quite true—that the debates we’ve been having over the last few years have centered around the religious definition of marriage. But that doesn’t mean that marriage is only based upon religion,” said Latz, whose district includes Golden Valley, Hopkins and St. Louis Park.

Latz was responding to worries from Assistant Minority Leader Warren Limmer (R-District 34) that the same-sex marriage bill would unduly interfere with religious organizations.

But Latz countered that the debate has nothing to do with religion.

“There is no religious content to it at all,” Latz said. “The religious content has been interposed upon the discussion, the debate, by those of good faith, based on their own religious faiths who view it that way. But that doesn’t change the exact form of state law.”

He described how religious leaders have described marriage as a “uniquely religious event” since he first joined the Legislature.

“But the fact is marriage is not a uniquely religious event,” he said. “According to state law, a judge in a civil ceremony—without any religion whatsoever involved—can, under state law, create a married couple by saying the right things, by the married couple or the couple to be giving consent, performing a contract that is recognized in state law as bringing with it certain rights and obligations.”

In the video player above, watch Latz's comments in response to a separate amendment from Sen. Paul E. Gazelka (R-District 9).

Limmer's amendment failed. The full bill passed in the Senate on a 37 to 30 vote following passage in the House on Thursday. Gov. Mark Dayton said he will sign the bill into law, and the law would take affect on Aug. 1 of this year. 

Mike B. May 13, 2013 at 06:27 PM
The DFLers are marching lock, stock, and barrel together on homosexual marriage, all to appease their far left wing activist base. If "gay" marriage were put to a referendum, this nonsense would be defeated overwhelmingly by the normal people of Minnesota.
John B. May 13, 2013 at 07:54 PM
And what exactly defines those "normal" people, Mike B.?
Michael Hindin May 14, 2013 at 03:37 AM
Mike B what ever you are hiding without a name. The Marriage Amendment failed by a majority vote of Minnesotans. The effort back fired, You lit the fire and the positive backlash caused the DFL victory and today's affirmation of marriage rights for all. Thanks Senator Latz. Thank you conservatives, we would have had to wait several years without your help. And since gay people are a small percentage of the population, you were beaten by your so called "normal" people. Even more delicious is that Chief Justice Roberts is going to vote to provide children of gay families the same protection as heterosexual families. .
Mike B. May 14, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Normal people are those who do not promote a way of life that is un-natural, un-safe, and contributes to the degradation of society.
Michael Hindin May 14, 2013 at 04:43 PM
"Mike B"'s arrogance is incredible, but then again the same self centered religious arrogance has been the beginning of every (or nearly every) atrocity committed in the name of religion. Easy to dehumanize and slaughter the "Untermenschen " (sub-humans) i.e. those that are not his version of "normal"

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