Minnesota is well on its way to becoming the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage as the House of Representatives voted to pass its gay marriage bill with a vote of 75 – 59.
The bill needed a vote of 68 in the Democratic-controlled House, and even without a single Republican vote it still stood a chance of passing.
A key part of the bill was an amendment to the bill on Wednesday modifying the wording of Minnesota’s marriage law. According to MSNBC:
The proposal calls for use of the term “civil marriage” in all instances, regardless of whether the couples are of the same or opposite genders. The amendment also includes a guarantee that religious organizations cannot be fined, punished, or stripped of special status for refusing to marry gay couples.
The pro-equality Minnesotans United embraced the amendment with the statement from Campaign Manager Richard Carlbom:
“Minnesotans United supports this amendment, and we will encourage the members of the Minnesota House of Representatives to support it as well. Representative FitzSimmons’ amendment affirms the fact that Minnesotans want same-sex couples to have the freedom to marry in our state while also ensuring that clergy members and religious institutions are free to practice their beliefs free from government intrusion. We applaud Representative FitzSimmons for introducing this amendment, and we are hopeful that it will bring even more bipartisan support to House File 1054.”
The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote on Monday. Should it pass there, Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign it into law. He had previously said that it was “a constitutional right and an American right to marry who you love.” Minnesota would then be the third state in as many weeks to legalize same-sex marriage.
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