Gay marriage bill wording may change

Published On: May 08 2013 02:18:06 PM CDT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

The head of the group lobbying for gay marriage at Minnesota's Capitol says he supports changes to the bill that could make it easier for Republicans to support.

An amendment posted Wednesday from GOP Rep. David Fitzsimmons re-frames the wording in Minnesota's marriage law. It would use the term "civil marriage" in all instances, whether couples are of the same or opposite genders.

That's meant to guarantee that religious organizations couldn't be fined, punished or stripped of special status for refusing to perform gay marriages. A religious protection clause had been in the bill, but some Republicans thought it wasn't strong enough.

Minnesotans United head Richard Carlbom calls the amendment a compromise, and says he will urge marriage backers in the House and Senate to support it.