Just last week we learned the JOYOUS news that Delaware became the 11th US state to legalize same-sex marriage, just days after Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Today we learn the AMAZING news that Minnesota has followed suit and yesterday became the 12th US state to legalize same-sex marriage. After the Minnesota House of Representatives passed their marriage equality bill last week, the Minnesota Senate passed the bill … and Governor Mark Dayton intends to wast no time signing that bill into law (in a special ceremony later today). Starting this August, same-sex couples in Minnesota will be allowed to marry! Woot!!!
Gay couples will be permitted to wed in Minnesota starting in August, making it the 12th state to permit same-sex marriage and the first in the Midwest to take such a step outside of a court ruling. The State Senate, controlled by Democrats, voted 37 to 30 on Monday to allow same-sex marriages, after approval by the State House last week. Gov. Mark Dayton, also a Democrat, had urged lawmakers to pass the measure and said he would sign the bill on Tuesday afternoon. “In my heart of hearts, I know that today love wins,” State Senator Tony Lourey, a Democrat, said Monday during a tense, often personal debate before the vote. Hundreds of people on both sides of the issue packed the halls of the Capitol here, chanting, cheering and waving signs with clashing messages — “Don’t Erase Moms and Dads” and “Marriage Equality, You Betcha.” Supporters portrayed the choice as a historic decision on the biggest civil rights question of this era and as a simple matter of fairness, while opponents said that the bill carried numerous unintended consequences and that Minnesotans needed more time to weigh such a divisive matter … Nationally, advocates of same-sex marriage lauded Minnesota’s move, saying it would add momentum to similar efforts elsewhere, including in at least one other Midwestern state, Illinois, which is considering a provision legalizing same-sex marriage … In a way, Monday’s vote was a startling shift in the conversation in this state. For much of 2012, Minnesotans had been debating an amendment to the state Constitution that would have done the opposite — define marriage as between a man and a woman. While 30 states have adopted such provisions, Minnesotans in November rejected the amendment and sent majorities of Democrats to both chambers of the State Legislature, setting off an intense new push to legalize same-sex marriage. “That whole constitutional amendment backfired on them,” Amy Britain, 46, said Monday as she and other supporters of same-sex marriage rejoiced around the echoing Capitol rotunda after the vote. She said it proved that Minnesotans, like many Americans, had changed their views on marriage. “This means everything,” Ms. Britain said of the vote. “It was only a matter of time before people would realize that we’re just folks — we’re in people’s congregations, we’re in the grocery store, we’re everywhere.” The issue had pitted this state’s most urban area, around the Twin Cities, against rural sections of the state where lawmakers said support was more uncertain. In both chambers, voting fell along largely partisan lines. In the end, four Republicans in the State House and one in the State Senate voted to allow same-sex marriage, while two House Democrats and three Senate Democrats voted no.
First off, congratulations to the state of Minnesota for being among the first states in this country to lead our country forward toward progress. Not only has the Minnesota government done their duty to their own citizens but they have done their duty for the entire United States of America … so thank you. Secondly, this win in Minnesota is HUGE! Since it’s the second state in the Midwest to legalize same-sex marriage (after Iowa) — and to do so by way of the legislature, not the court system — MN is leading the way in this part of the country toward marriage equality for all US citizens. Just last election season, the people of Minnesota were trying to legislate the toughest ban on same-sex marriage that this country offers (ie. a state constitutional amendment). When that push failed, they opened the door for this push toward marriage equality … proving, once again, that hate will eventually lose out against love. I am so proud of Minnesota, truly. It may take a bit more time for the rest of the Midwest to follow their lead but it’ll happen one day … one way or another. The march toward full and equal treatment for all US citizens moves forward, thanks in large part to the great people of Minnesota :D