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Minnesota, In Landmark Vote, Becomes 12th State To Allow Same-Sex Marriage

by David Badash on May 13, 2013

in Marriage,News,Politics,Religion

Post image for Minnesota, In Landmark Vote, Becomes 12th State To Allow Same-Sex Marriage

The Minnesota Senate today voted in favor of repealing the state ban on same-sex marriage and extending the institution of marriage to same-sex couples. This final vote, 37-30 cements equal marriage for same-sex couples, and Democratic governor Mark Dayton has agreed to sign the bill tomorrow. Same-sex couples will be able to marry as of August 1.

The vote makes Minnesota the twelfth state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to marry. It also makes Minnesota the first state in the midwest where lawmakers have made same-sex marriage legal, in contrast Iowa, where that state’s supreme court ruled the Iowa constitution actually made a ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

The populace of Minnesota is one of the best-educated in the nation. It’s also a highly religious state, with a large percentage of residents being Roman Catholic, Protestant and Lutheran.

In fact, today’s debate began with discussions of religious protections for “religious-affiliated” institutions like the YMCA or Northwestern, a Christian college, that will not be able to discriminate against same-sex couples, as Sen. Warren Limmer lamented.

Minnesota same sex marriage vote senate-1This argument has been made in every state’s debate on same-sex marriage, but the issue has nothing to do with marriage laws, rather each state’s anti-discrimination laws, which do not allow “free and fair open access in the marketplace,” as Senator Scott Dibble (image, right,) the bill’s sponsor, also noted.

“In the marketplace… we don’t discriminate against people. This is the United States of America,” Sen. Dibble told Sen. Limmer.

In recent weeks, Rhode Island and Delaware also voted to extend marriage to same-sex couples. Illinois is expected to move forward soon on their marriage bills.

Republican Senator Paul Gazelka, one of the bill’s most-outspoken opponents, and  who attended Oral Roberts University, attempted to obtain “religious protections” for anyone who might come in contact with a same-sex couple who wish to marry, including photographers and universities. In reality, the amendment would allow discrimination against anyone for any reason. “A Lutheran bakery can refuse service to a couple for a Catholic wedding,” Sen. Dibble noted. At closing, Sen. Gazelka claimed, embarrassingly, “I stand for all people even gay people and I’m against this bill.”

Senator Jeff Hayden spoke at length about his long marriage, his children he is so proud of, and after a few minutes noted his wife is white. Sen. Hayden is African-American. He compared marriage equality to the African-American civil rights movement, noting he would not be able to speak about his children because he would not have been able to marry his wife. “I think when we come back here in a year, we’re gonna see that everything’s going to be okay,” Hayden told his colleagues.

Not all were as insightful as Sen. Hayden.

Live stream_ Minnesota Senate debates gay marriage at noon Monday |“The question is, are homosexual marriages good for children?,” Senator Dan Hall (image, left) asked, adding “there will be unintended — and I believe intended — consequences” by passing the same-sex marriage bill.

Hall also claimed there would be more “indoctrination” with the marriage bill. “Do you really want what Europe has? They’re on the brink of disaster.”

“This document wil bring civil disobedience, hurt businesses, confuse children, more than any issue since the Civil War,” Senator hall proclaimed.

Debate lasted just over four hours. Despite how contentious the debate became, it was respectful and not laced with the extreme homophobia and ignorance marked by other state debates.

Senator Scott Dibble closed by stating he and his husband, whom he married in California before prop 8 passed, are “legal strangers.”

“I’m a lucky guy, “‘ve met the person I can’t live without. Richard and I have a love I can’t begin to describe,” Sen. Dibble said. “Today we have the power. The awesome, humbling power to make dreams come true.”

“Vote yes for love,” Dibble urged.

And he read a poem by Langston Hughes on equality, “Let America be America Again.”

LOOK: Minnesota Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal!

Today the Minnesota Senate held the final legislative vote for marriage and voted for equality. Governor Dayton will sign the bill tomorrow.

Storified by David Badash· Mon, May 13 2013 14:19:56

Hundreds of freedom to marry supporters packing the front steps of the State Capitol! #time4marriage #mnleg United
Sen. Dibble read a Langston Hughes poem. I’m starting to tear up and choke up a little already. #mnunited #mn4m #mnlegMarriageEqualityUSA
OMG. Sen. Torres Ray breaks in2 Spanish 2explain 2her own family,who believe differently,why she supports #marriageequality. #powerful #MN4MJohn M. Becker
RT @polanimal: RT @bengarvin: Hands down best sign of the day. #mnleg #mnmarriage #time4marriage #mnunitedEric Pusey
Sen. Petersen: I vote yes for the 1st and 14th amendment, I vote yes for the family #time4marriageACLU of Minnesota
RT @jhiscock: Unreal photo from the rotunda. #mnunited #time4marriage United
Sen. Senjem (R): I don’t have to understand everything about being gay to understand they’re good people. #mnunited #mn4m #mnlegMarriageEqualityUSA the energy here is electric! #mnmarriage #mnunitedKatie Satterlie
I renamedthe WabashaBridge 2 the Freedom to Marry Bridge for this week. Marriage equality here we come #Time4Marriage Coleman
I’ve been with one man for 10 years & will be with that same one man until the day I die.Don’t preach to me about love or marriage #MNUnitedJeremy Hooper
Crowds cheer MN Sen @ScottDibble as he enters Capitol to vote & presumably pass gay marriage bill he introduced #MN4M Wein
A beautiful sight! RT @o_rodriguez: @MN4allfamilies all three levels of the Capitol are filled!! #mnmarriage #mnlegMinnesotans United
Might not be so bad? #mnleg #time4marriage @ Minnesota State Capitol Møe-Slepička
Flags flying over the Wabasha Street Bridge in St Paul, MN #mnleg #mnmarriage Sedivy
Yay for Sen. Branden Petersen, a Republican for marriage equality! #MNUnited #MN4MZack Ford
Standing room only spots filling up on Senate floor. #mnmarriage #mnleg @MPRnews Thompson
RT @erickapalmer: @Project_515 pastors in the rotunda #time4marriage #mnmarriage #mnunitedProject 515
Love this Mary Tyler Moore take on the #minnesotaequality vote from the @TheAdvocateMag !#time4marriage #equality Vodka
RT @bengarvin: Sen. Dibble and partner greet joyous, massive crowd outside Capitol just now. #mnmarriage #mnleg United
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tjchase May 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

look at who voted against and those are the senators to get out of office

tjchase May 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Michele Bachmann stated she would move out of the state if the bill passed. So someone call uhaul and help her pack

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