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Mankato council to consider gay marriage question

Dan Linehan, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn. –

MANKATO  – The Mankato City Council will soon discuss whether to weigh in on the debate about the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

A Mankato resident, Michael Hruby, asked the council at a recent meeting to be the eighth city in the state to pass a resolution opposing the amendment. He brought up a question at that time that will be relevant to the councilors.

“Some of you may be wondering why this is an issue that you should take a stand on,” he told the council. He said his answer is that city councilors are elected to represent their citizens not just to the city but to the whole state.

Whether the councilors will agree remains to be seen.

“My feeling right now is that it’s a state issue and I’d rather not get into it,” Councilman Charlie Hurd said.

Councilman Mark Frost said it’s reasonable for the City Council to be asked to take a position on the issue. But it seems unlikely it’ll be the position Hruby hopes for.

“I guess I’m not going to apologize for being Catholic,” he said. “That stance of the Catholic Church is they don’t accept that.”

Councilwoman Karen Foreman said she hasn’t made up her mind.

“What I want to hear from people is their perspective on how this affects residents,” she said. “We all have our personal opinions on that … but as a city council person I need to hear from people on how this has an impact on this city, the people who live in the city, the events, how it might affect recruitment for businesses.”

Hruby said the amendment, if passed, could harm the state economically.

“It’s only 50 miles to the Iowa border and they accept us,” said Hruby, who also told the council about his struggles coming out as gay.

“Tell them (the Legislature) the city of Mankato will not deny the freedom of any of its citizens,” he said.

The work session is Monday, June 25 in the Intergovernmental Center. It starts after the 6 p.m. regular meeting ends.

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