Last night in Minneapolis

This photo of the I-35W bridge appeared last night on the City of Minneapolis Facebook page.

The following announcement was also posted:

Start planning now! At 12:01 a.m. on the
first day that all Minnesotans are able to get married, historic
Minneapolis City Hall will be open and available for couples wishing to
tie the knot. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will be on hand and happy to
officiate weddings that night.

Marriage equality begins August 1 in Minnesota.

Minnesota: Gov. Mark Dayton signs marriage equality into law

From the Star Tribune reports:

“By your political courage, you join that pantheon of exceptional leaders who did something extraordinary,” Dayton said. “You changed the course of history for our state and our nation.”

Dayton signed the marriage measure at a historic outdoor ceremony, a day after the Senate and House passed the proposal….Dayton acknowledged that a difficult step has been taken, but called it a crucial moment for equality.

“Progress has often been difficult, controversial and, initially, divisive,” Dayton said. “However, it has always been the next step ahead to fulfilling this country’s promise to every American.”

The ceremony kicked off a parade that took supporters to a massive downtown St. Paul celebration. The parade route in was lined with rainbow flags for the event.

Video: Openly gay Minnesota state Senator Scott Dibble speaks before marriage equality vote

Minnesota State Senator and chief author of the Minnesota Marriage Equality Bill Scott Dibble speaks in support of his bill prior to the Senate vote.

The bill passed shortly after this speech by a vote of 37-30.

Check out the quick video below of the reaction of the crowd in the Capitol rotunda moments after the bill passed.  This is what equality looks like, kids.

Congratulations Sen. Dibble and Minnesota!

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.


Minnesota: Final vote on marriage equality today

The Minnesota Senate will begin debate on the Minnesota marriage equality bill at noon Central Time today.

With 39 Democrats vs. 28 Republicans, the bill is expected to pass and Gov. Mark Dayton is likely to sign it in a ceremony presently scheduled to take place tomorrow.

You can watch today’s proceedings live on the website of the Star-Tribune and on the Senate’s official page. If you’ve never listened in to one of these debates, they can be quite boring in terms of public pronouncements made clearly for use in future campaigns, AND can be quite moving in their passion, depending on where you stand on the issue.

Minnesota: Marriage equality coming soon?

As we are still celebrating the passage of marriage equality in Delaware, Minnesota is on a fast track to same-sex marriage and could bring equality to the state by Sunday. reports on Thursday’s vote in the state House:

House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he believes the 73-member DFL majority has the 68 votes needed to pass the bill allowing same-sex couples to wed, even without a single Republican vote.

As of late Tuesday, no GOP House members have said publicly they would vote “yes.”

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders say they also have the votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill, and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton says he’ll sign it.

If marriage equality passes the House as now expected, the Senate (where it’s approval is also pretty much assured) could vote as early as Saturday.


Minnesota: Marriage equality vote in state House this Thursday

Minnesota state House will vote on marriage equality this Thursday:

House DFL leadership announced the plans Tuesday. House Speaker Paul Thissen has previously said that scheduling the vote would be a signal that DFL leaders secured the 68 votes needed to pass the bill.

If the House passes the bill, the next vote would be in the state Senate. But its passage has been seen as more secure there than in the House.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to sign the bill, which would allow gay couples to start getting married in Minnesota on Aug. 1.