Minnesota: Marriage Equality passes in state Senate by vote of 37-30

The Minnesota state Senate voted moments ago in favor of a marriage equality bill, the final vote need to make Minnesota the 12th U.S. state, and the third in as many weeks, to legalize same-sex marriage.

Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to sign the bill and a ceremony is expected on Tuesday. The law would take effect on Aug. 1.

Prior to the bill’s third and final reading, the Senate rejected two amendments offered by GOP opponents.

first amendment (A10), by Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), would have extended
exemptions to individuals with religious objections to same-sex
marriage, but also used the more generic term “any marriage.”

Gay marriage supporters said the amendment would have had the effect of legalizing discrimination
against gay couples, and by the amendment’s language, couples in “any
marriage” — effectively gutting the state’s existing civil rights
protections under its human rights act.

That amendment failed by a vote if 26-41.

second amendment (A51), from Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), sought
to legislate gender-neutral language such as “spouse” and “parent” for
same-sex couples only, and utilize gender-specific terms such as
“mother,” “father,” “husband,” and “wife” for opposite-sex couples.

That amendment failed by a vote of 31-36.

Here’s the vote board showing the 37-30 results that moves the bill to the Governor’s desk.