Minnesota’s House of Representatives Passes Gay Marriage Bill 75-59

IMG_4388Minnesota 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.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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  • Polaro

    Almost enough for me to forgive them for electing Michele Bachmann over and over again.

  • ryanthehulk

    Not all of us voted for her, just slightly more than 50% of the people living in one of the eight districts. I could go on at length about how we are the liberal oasis of the Midwest, but I am too happy to care right now.

  • alterego1980

    I think it’s important to show that marriage equality is taking shape in the middle of the country. Iowa has been the lone soldier out there for so long. And so many mid-west states get a bad wrap. I’m happy when any state gets it right but i’m glad it’s more than just the coast lines stepping up now.

  • jwrappaport

    Any idea how it will shape up in their Senate?

  • ryanthehulk

    @jwrappaport: Moorhead MN resident here, the house was the hurdle, the bill’s future was far more uncertain than the projections for the senate, and it still pulled ahead with a 16 vote lead.

  • Dionte

    Happy days.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Thanks, Minnesota!

  • Sweet Boy

    Bring in the lutefisk and the surstromming !!!!!…Let´s paaaaaaaarrrrrrtyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

  • Dakotahgeo

    Absolute best wishes and Congratulations to Minnesota for this huge step. I hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth already from NOM and the neutered right wingers. Sweet, sweet music!

  • Brian

    The supreme irony of Minnesota getting gay marriage while Californian gays still wait could not be lost on the masses. Wonders never cease….

  • Geoff B

    Well, Minnesota, I was hoping Illinois would beat you to it, but I can’t help but be so happy for you. To go from having to beat back that stupid marriage amendment to soon being the first Midwest state to achieve equality through the legislature in less than a year is freaking awesome! Hopefully we’ll get it done here soon too.

  • Geoff B

    Oh, and if by any chance this were to give Michele Bachmann a stroke, all the better!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Geoff B: Yes, her stroke would definitely make my day/week/month! Can you imagine being in her district and not being able to do anything about it??!! THAT scares the hell out of me!

  • twoguysbrooklyn

    I echo the congrats from other posters and am equally amazed, as Geoff B stated, at how quickly MN has done a 180 on this issue. They have blazed a trail for all the other states that constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. Bravo Minnesota!

    Yes, Illinois should be next at #13. Thereafter, we may not see a push until after the Supremes rule on DOMA. If same-sex couples who are legally married are granted Federal benefits, there will be pressure on the civil union-only states to move towards marriage. It will be crystal clear that civil union is not “good enough”. That could bring Colorado, New Jersey, and Hawaii into the fold. Then pressure would continue on the Domestic Partner-only states.


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