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Minnesota Approves Marriage Equality Legislation; Governor To Sign Into Law Tuesday

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 13, 2013 10:55PM

While legislation legalizing same-sex marriage remains stalled in the Illinois House and Gov. Pat Quinn calls for the House to vote on the bill before the spring legislative session ends, Minnesota today became the 12th state in the union to pass a marriage equality bill.

The Minnesota Senate approved the bill by a 37-30 vote, four days after the House passed the bill on a 75-59 vote. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said he would sign the bill into law Tuesday evening.

The vote makes Minnesota the third state to pass marriage equality legislation this month, following Delaware and Rhode Island, and comes six months after voters in the North Star State defeated a measure that would have constitutionally banned same-sex marriage.

Sen. Roger Reinert, who voted in favor of the bill, spoke touchingly of his reasons for supporting the legislation.

"I vote today to give something that is not really mine to give," he said. "I vote today to recognize for all the very same desires that I have for myself. I vote today to ratify the right for all to life, liberty, and the pursuit of public happiness."

State Sen Torrey Westrom opposed the bill and defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"I think this is a wrong step in history, a step that we should not be going down," said Sen. Torrey Westrom. "I think we should affirm what the legislature did in 1997. … If marriage is about marrying who you love, where does that stop?" asked Westrom, before his mike was cut, presumably because he ran out of his allotted speaking time.

After Dayton signs the bill into law, same-sex couples may begin applying for marriage licenses Aug. 1.