Same Sex Marriage Legislation

March 7, 2013

Last November, Minnesota rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. While the constitutional amendment was rejected, an existing statute defines marriage in Minnesota as between a man and a woman. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 517.01. After this victory, Minnesotans United for All Families, the primary organization opposing the proposed amendment, turned their sights to changing the existing law. And on February 27th of this year, legislators introduced bills in the Minnesota House and Senate to legalize same sex marriage. 2013 MN S.F. 925, House File 1054

You can follow these bills by using bill tracking on WestlawNext. To do that, from the home page on WestlawNext, click on “Proposed & Enacted Legislation.” Then, click on “Minnesota.” On that screen, look to the right under the “Tools & Resources” for the link to “Minnesota Bill Tracking.”

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In the template, enter “925” in the Bill Number box, and then enter “marriage” in the Bill Text box. Click on “Search” to pull up your result. You should see 2013 MN S.F. 925. Click on that result to check out the tracking information. You can check on the bill status here. Then you can do the same for the House File.

You might also track the bill with Capitol Watch (available from the tools tab on WestlawNext).  In Minnesota bills, try ci(925) and marriage.  Then, click the track button:

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Of course, feel free to call us if you are managing a legislative tracking project.  We’re happy to help you set that up.





Try the following search:


There are 141 results in Proposed & Enacted Legislation with that query. This covers just the past few years (the most recent sessions). Our results include:

2011 PA S.B. 461 (NS), 2011 Pennsylvania Senate Bill No. 461, Pennsylvania One Hundred Ninety-Fifth General Assembly – 2011-2012. An Act providing for same-sex marriages.

2012 NJ S.C.R. 88 (NS), 2012 New Jersey Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 88, New Jersey Two Hundred Fifteenth Legislature – First Annual Session. A New Jersey Concurrent Resolution authorizing same-sex marriage.

2011 WA S.B. 5793 (NS), 2011 Washington Senate Bill No. 5793, Washington Sixty-Second Legislature – 2011 First Special Session. Title: Addressing Civil Marriage Equality.

2011 RI S.J.R. 2987 (NS), 2011 Rhode Island Senate Joint Resolution No. 2987, Rhode Island 2012 Legislative Session. Title: Joint Resolution relative to the recognition and validity of out-of-state and foreign same-sex marriages.

2011 HI H.B. 164 (NS), 2011 Hawaii House Bill No. 164, Hawaii Twenty-Sixth Legislature – Regular Session of 2011. Title: Proposing an Amendment to the Hawaii Constitution to allow marriage between same sex couples.


You can quickly pull up articles discussing the topic generally on WestlawNext. I ran the following plain language search through Secondary Sources:


The first few results include:

Frank Gulino, A Match Made in Albany: The Uneasy Wedding of Marriage Equality and Religious Liberty, N.Y. St. B.J., January 2012, at 38

14 No. 6 N.H. Emp. L. Letter 1, Gay Marriage Enacted in New Hampshire, August 2009

Christy M. Glass, Nancy Kubasek, Elizabeth Kiester, Toward A “European Model’ of Same-Sex Marriage Rights: A Viable Pathway for the U.S.?, 29 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 132 (2011)

David Schraub, The Price of Victory: Political Triumphs and Judicial Protection in the Gay Rights Movement, 77 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1437 (2010)

Laurence H. Tribe & Joshua Matz, The Constitutional Inevitability of Same-Sex Marriage, 71 Md. L. Rev. 471 (2012)


A final, related note, if you want to follow the case challenging the validity of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), check out the lower court decisions at:

Windsor v. United States, 699 F.3d 169 (2d Cir. 2012) cert. granted, 133 S. Ct. 786, 184 L. Ed. 2d 527 (U.S. 2012)
Windsor v. United States, 833 F. Supp. 2d 394 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) aff’d, 699 F.3d 169 (2d Cir. 2012) cert. granted, 133 S. Ct. 786, 184 L. Ed. 2d 527 (U.S. 2012)

And see the U.S. Supreme Court’s grant for writ of certiorari at United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 786, 184 L. Ed. 2d 527 (2012)
Check out the “Filings” tab to view briefs filed in the case. Arguments are scheduled for later this month.