St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Afters hours of testimony and votes in both House and Senate Committees on Tuesday, the same-sex marriage bill heads to the floors of both sides of the legislature .
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5 to 3.
The House Civil Law Committee voted 10 to 7.
The Senate version of the bill, authored by Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), would define marriage between two people, not just a man and a woman.
Lawmakers heard passionate testimony from people on both sides of the divisive issue.
Those for it say marriage is defined by the love and the commitment two people share, no matter their sex.
Those opposed say it toys with religion and shouldn't be made a political issue.
"As a gay man I should have the same opportunity to marry as my three siblings, my desire to love is no less valid and no less worth of recognition by our state than theirs," said Jake Reitan, a gay man who supports gay marriage.
" Two men or two men in a relationship can be a very wonderful thing, but it is not exactly the same as a man and a woman forming a household together," said Doug Mainwaring, a gay man who is opposed to gay marriage.
The House Civil Law Committee heard testimony as well Tuesday morning.
"Maybe you can attempt to redefine love but please do not seek to redefine marriage. The move to redefine is really a rebellion against society's past and a biblical world view," said Lindsey Warkentine, a 17-year-old opposed to gay marriage.
"This law ill strengthen families and marriage, said David Wheeler, a former Duluth City Councilor who supports gay marriage. "It's no threat to anyone else. It will value people and will make a difference."
Both bills will head to their respective floors in the coming weeks. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation once it reaches his desk.