Ten other states and the District of Columbia have already passed marriage equality, and yesterday Minnesota made it twelve. I congratulate those other states, but to me Minnesota matters a little more than Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and the rest.
It’s for several reasons, all of them personal. My father was born and raised in Minneapolis, and that’s where my grandparents are buried. I went to grad school at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, that’s where my first play was produced, and that’s where I was living when I came out to my friends and family and had my first significant relationship with another man. So that’s why I was especially glad to see that it rejected the marriage-for-straights-only amendment last fall and very, very happy to see them pass the marriage equality law yesterday afternoon. So far, of all the many places I’ve lived since leaving home, Minnesota is the only state where now I can get married to the man I love if I so choose (and assuming I have found him).
I think it says a great deal about the people of Minnesota and the strength of character they embody (and that I hope I inherited from my ancestral roots there) that they took on this issue and passed it not out of a sense of being radical or ground-breaking or even pro-gay and anti-family. They did it, it seems, out the of basic goodness and fairness that Minnesotans have shown for generations.
Now if we could get some of that Minnesota Nice to spread to the other remaining states, including Florida.
Here’s the floor speech yesterday by the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis. He pretty much sums it all up.