Lake Park Mayor shows gay marriage supportLake Park, MN (WDAY TV) -- One of the biggest proponents behind the bill is Lake Park's Mayor. Mayor Aaron Wittnebel is the only openly gay mayor in the state of Minnesota.
By: Katie Lange, WDAY
Lake Park, MN (WDAY TV) -- One of the biggest proponents behind the bill is Lake Park's Mayor. Mayor Aaron Wittnebel is the only openly gay mayor in the state of Minnesota.
Aaron says he has been active in politics since High School. It was then he realized his voice could reach many...others trying to fit in in a society that wasn't always accepting of homosexuals.
It's something everyone wants, equality.
" The freedom to marry for all couples"
Mayor Aaron Wittnebel had plans to do just that with his Partner, Michael.
Wittnebel: "Have kids, grow old together. That was just the plan. We wanted the same thing as all of our friends that were growing up, getting into their careers wanted to has as well."
While Aaron and Michael were hopeful they'd be able to wed in Minnesota - they knew they might have to leave the state to make their committed relationship "legal".
Wittnebel: "It's important in a democratic society that we recognize the rights of all individuals."
In the 1990's it seemed things were going in that direction as legislators spoke of domestic partnership, but that too would fail. Now a decade later, while a same-sex marriage bill is in the legislature it's too late for Aaron and Michael.
Wittnebel: "My partner Michael, in 2006 passed away. "
He would die from meningitis, just months after his 30th birthday. Although Aaron isn't currently in a committed relationship, he knows the importance of marriage, the ultimate expression of love, commitment and responsibility, not only that, but how important it is to the LGBT community.
Wittnebel: "Optimistic that's it's going to pass the house and the senate, and they'll deliver a bill to Governor Dayton and it will get signed this year."
A vote in the full House or Senate could come as early as this week.
Reporting live in the studio, Katie Lange, WDAY6 News.