Minnesota becomes 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage
Minnesota has become the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the first in the mid-west. Illinois is expected to follow suit as it has its own same-sex marriage bill in the works.
Minnesota, six months ago voted and defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. This past Monday the Minnesota state legislature passed legislation that would provide equal access to civil marriages for lesbian and gay couples.
The state Senate on Monday voted 37-30 to legalize same-sex marriage, this after last week’s vote from the state house. Governor Mark Dayton (D) has already said he will sign the same-sex marriage bill into law if passed and the governor has kept his promise. The Governor signed the bill this past Tuesday on the steps of the capitol at 5pm along with cheers from same-sex marriage supports and LGBT advocacy groups.
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness certainly includes the right to marry the person you love,” the Govenor said during the bill signing.
Same-sex marriage will become legal in Minnesota on August 1 but churches will not be required to performed same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Freedom to Marry’s director of public engagement and a strategic adviser to Minnesotans United for All Families Thalia Zapatos said, “After last week’s strong showing of support, legislators finished the job today, standing up for fairness and dignity for all Minnesota families. Coming on the heels of victories in Rhode Island and Delaware, this win for marriage shows that the freedom to marry is a value that Americans across the country stand behind. Freedom to Marry is proud to have helped create Minnesotans United for All Families, whose work to shore up legislative support – not to mention fending off an anti-gay amendment in last fall – makes the whole movement proud.”
Senator Dick Cohen and chief backer of the marriage bill said, “The irony of today, as great as it is, is that if the Republican majorities two years ago had not placed this on the ballot in November, we wouldn’t be here today. The two-year buildup for that is what has allowed this to happen.”
Also, Minnesota’s lone openly gay member DFL Senator Scott Dibble in his delight said, “I’m going to be a married man in Minnesota!”
Minnesota now joins Washington, Maryland, Maine, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York in allowing same-sex marriage.