The author of Minnesota's historic same-sex marriage law is extremely disappointed with a tactic employed by Senate Republicans that prevented many Senators from joining thousands of others to witness it being signed into law.
Wednesday night, Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) tells his colleagues he appreciated the tone of the Senate debate on the bill. “I want to thank everyone on all sides of the issue for the respectful and civil tone. I know that this was for some a difficult issue and for everyone a very, very significant day.”
He noted, however, that as Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill in front of 7,000 people on the Capitol lawn, Republican Senators used a rarely invoked rule to lock the doors of the Senate chamber to keep members inside as they debated the bill to allow unionization among certain workers. “I think that really diminished what was really a remarkable occasion on Monday,” Dibble said. “I just wanted to express … an extreme sense of disappointment at what happened yesterday.
Here is the Senate rule that was invoked:
38. CALL OF THE SENATE
38.1 A member may impose a call of the Senate requiring the attendance of all members before any further proceedings occur except a motion to adjourn.
38.2 Upon the imposition of a call, a member may request a record of those present and the Sergeant at Arms shall bring in the absent members.
38.3 When the Senate has been placed under call, a member may demand that the doors be closed and that no member be permitted to leave the Chamber until the matter or question, if any, under consideration at the time of the call is disposed of, or until the call is lifted by a majority of the whole Senate, or until the Senate adjourns.
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