Minnesota Expected To Approve Same-Sex Marriage

By the end of today, Minnesota is likely to become the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage:

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Reuters) – The Minnesota Senate is expected to give final approval on Monday to a bill that would make the state the 12th in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry and only the second in the Midwest.

Leaders in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 39-28 majority, have said they believe they have the support to approve a bill legalizing gay marriage. They set a vote for Monday on the measure that members of the state House approved last week.

Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has said he would sign the bill, which would make Minnesota the third state this month to legalize gay marriage after Rhode Island and Delaware. The law would take effect August 1.

Minnesota would join Iowa as the only other Midwestern state to permit gay marriage and the first to do so through legislation. Iowa has permitted same-sex marriage since 2009 under a state Supreme Court order.

The Minnesota House had been expected to be the bigger hurdle, but representatives voted 75-59 on Thursday to approve a bill with some Republican support.

The measure has at least one Republican sponsor in the Senate.

Senator Scott Dibble, the bill’s architect, has said the stronger-than-expected vote from representatives was very encouraging and urged same-sex marriage supporters to continue active lobbying for the bill right up to Monday’s vote.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of the proposal to legalize same-sex marriage demonstrated at the Capitol on Thursday. A similar atmosphere was expected on Monday.

The vote on Thursday was a sharp reversal for Minnesota’s legislature. Two years ago, Republicans controlled both chambers and bypassed the governor to put forward a ballot measure that would have made the state’s current ban on gay marriage part of the state constitution.

Minnesota voters in November rejected that measure and also voted in Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate, setting the legislature on the path toward Monday’s vote

This will make three states over the past three weeks that have legalized gay marriage, probably the fastest pace we’ve seen to date.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. DC Loser says:

    I’m looking forward to Michelle Bachmann’s head exploding.

  2. Franklin says:

    @DC Loser: No, no, no … there will definitely be an earthquake in Minnesota this week. God’s judgment, baby.

  3. Gromitt Gunn says:

    It is winding its way through Springfield, Illinois, as well.

    Once Minnesota passes its bill, 20 states will either have legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships, and an additional 18 states will share a border with a state that does. The only states 12 states that won’t fall under either category will be the Deep South and its bordering states, Alaska, and Ohio.

  4. Vast Variety says:

    It just passed.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    You know, I can’t decide whether Marcus Bachmann sees this as good or bad for his business?

  6. swearyanthony says:

    How many of the states without marriage equality also allow first cousins to marry?

  7. Lynn says:

    @swearyanthony: “How many of the states without marriage equality also allow first cousins to marry?”

    States with marriage equality: Connecticut, Delaware (Takes Effect July 1), Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota (Takes Effect August 1), New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island (Takes Effect August 1), Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. New Mexico honors out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples but does not perform them in-state.

    19 states allow marriages between first cousins: Alabama, Alaska, California,
    Colorado, *Connecticut, *District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, *Maryland, *Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, *New York, North Carolina, *Rhode Island,
    South Carolina, Tennessee, *Vermont, Virginia

    7 states (*) allow both.

  8. grumpy realist says:

    At some point, companies are going to start relocating to places that DO have SSM and AWAY from those that don’t, mainly because they’re going to know that if they want to get the best employees, they’re going to have to be open to gays as well. And gay employees aren’t going to want to be located in states that treat them as second-class citizens.

  9. Alex says:

    Minnesota is the first state to leapfrog directly from no state-wide recognition of same-sex couples at all directly to full marriage without that move being forced by the courts (Iowa also made this jump, but it was a court decision that did it). All the other states that have enacted same-sex marriage either through the legislature or through voter initiative already had some sort of state-wide civil union or domestic partnership arrangement. That’s certainly a landmark of sorts.

  10. Lynn says:

    @Alex: “Minnesota is the first state to leapfrog directly from no state-wide recognition of same-sex couples at all directly to full marriage without that move being forced by the courts ”

    I believe it was a direct result of last year’s proposed amendment to limit civil marriage to male-female couples. Those supporting marriage equality were so energized that, after they defeated the amendment, they just kept on.

  11. labman57 says:

    Should some unfortunate tragedy — whether an act of nature or result of human negligence or malevolence — befall the residents of a Minnesota community in the next few months, Bachmann and other sanctimonious sycophants will no doubt attribute the devastation to “God’s wrath” upon those heathens that embraced Satan and permitted walking abominations (i.e., lesbians and gays) to pervert the rite of marriage.