MANKATO — On Monday, Michael Hruby will be the first of perhaps 40 people to speak at a City Council hearing on the gay marriage amendment.
It’s only fitting, considering he was the one who first asked the council to weigh in on the ballot measure in May.
Hruby sees his decision to take a stand on a continuum that started when he came out as gay.
“When I started all this, I was thinking I wasn’t true to myself because I wasn’t standing up for my own rights,” he said.
Since then, Hruby has enjoyed the support of strangers.
“It has been rewarding,” he said.
He hasn’t received any threats or insults — a far cry from the rancor of the Mankato City Council’s last foray into gay marriage in 1987.
“I think Mankato has changed a lot in 25 years,” said Hruby, 33.
As for the meeting itself, Hruby said he and other supporters will try to persuade the council — and potential voters — by telling stories.
“That’s what all of us want to do, tell personal stories about why marriage matters to each of us,” he said.
He’ll also ask people who testify to be civil, not to raise their voice or use insults.
A city memo on the topic adds another request; it asks that the audience not clap or cheer during the public hearing.
It also sets a limit of three minutes per person and two hours for the entire hearing. Those who want to speak need to call the city clerk at 507-387-8607. As of Thursday afternoon, 26 people were signed up to speak.
The city has posted on its website the speaker list along with about 60 written comments as of late Thursday afternoon. Both are posted inside the packet of information for the regular meeting.
The public hearing comes during a regular meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. But the agenda is light, and the hearing will probably begin by 7:30 p.m., if not sooner.
If it passes, the vote on the resolution is likely to be close. The council voted 4-2 to hold the hearing. Those who voted against the hearing — Mayor Eric Anderson and Councilman Mark Frost — or abstained (Councilman Charlie Hurd) appear unlikely to support the resolution.
As it does with all its regular meetings, the city eventually will post a video recording of the meeting on its website.