The 75-59 vote was a critical step for the measure, which would allow same-sex weddings beginning this summer. It’s a startling shift in the state, where just six months earlier voters turned back an effort to ban them in the Minnesota Constitution.
The state Senate plans to consider the bill Monday and leaders expect it to pass there too. Gov. Mark Dayton has pledged to sign it into law.
“My family knew firsthand that same sex couples pay our taxes, we vote, we serve in the military, we take care of our kids and our elders and we run businesses in Minnesota,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Karen Clark, a Minneapolis Democrat who is gay. “… Same-sex couples should be treated fairly under the law, including the freedom to marry the person we love.”
Hundreds of supporters and opponents gathered outside the House chamber up to and during the debate, chanting and waving signs. They sang “We Shall Overcome” and a John Lennon song in the minutes before the vote.
Four of the House’s 61 Republicans voted for the bill, while two of its 73 Democrats voted against it.
Opponents argued the bill would alter a centuries-old conception of marriage and leave those people opposed for religious reasons tarred as bigots.
“We’re not. We’re not,” said Rep. Kelby Woodard, R-Belle Plaine. “These are people with deeply held beliefs, including myself.”
Note to Rep. Woodard: bigotry is a deeply held belief, y’know.
Congratulations to the good people of my ancestral home state (on my father’s side) and a return to the common sense progressiveness and fairness of the place that gave us Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Paul Wellstone.
HT to commenter Julie.