Edina Pastor Testifies in Support of Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Erik Strand, a pastor at Edina Community Lutheran Church, said he wants to ensure same-sex couples 'have the same opportunity to marry' as straight couples.
Erik Strand has participated in hundreds of marriages and weddings in his nearly 34 years as a pastor.
Strand, who has been a pastor at Edina Community Lutheran Church for almost 24 years, spoke before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Senate File 925, a bill which would allow same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
Strand said he decided to head down to the Capitol because he wanted to "ensure that same-gendered couples have the same opportunity to marry as Minnesota straight couples."
"As a person who regularly prays and reads scripture, I am led to advocate for policies and laws which will enhance and provide protections for all couples who choose to make such a wonderfully bold commitment as marriage is," Strand said. "This, I believe, will build up the common good for all of us in this state."
Check out the above video of Strand's testimony before the committee, courtesy of our friends at The UpTake. Skip ahead to 26:40 in the video to see what Strand had to say.
Another highlight of the debate was extended back-and-forth between opponent Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis), the bill's co-author.
The committee eventually sent the bill to the Senate floor on a 5-3 party-line vote.
Mere hours later, the House Civil Law Committee, on which State Rep. Paul Rosenthal (DFL-Edina) sits, voted 10-7 to pass legislation that would grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry as soon as Aug. 1.
House File 1054, authored by Rep. Karen Clark and co-authored by 22 other members of the Minnesota House, would remove limitations on marriage for same-sex couples from Minnesota state law, while also protecting the religious freedoms of clergy and faith institutions to practice their religious beliefs free from government interference or persecution.