Minnesota has legalized gay marriage, the 12th state to do so and the second, after Iowa, in the Midwest. The legislation to allow same sex marriage, which was signed into effect by Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday, and which becomes law as of August 1, marks a steep reversal of trends. Just two years ago, Republicans were in control of both chambers and forwarded an amendment for public vote that would ban gay marriage – an amendment, in effect, which would intensify the pre-existing ban that had already been legislated. LGBT supporters had to rally together to fight the amendment, and it didn’t pass. Democrats, meanwhile, gained control of the Legislature in November, which led to the vote that passed in the senate 37-30 that gay marriage would be legalized.
“What a day for Minnesota!” said Dayton, before signing the bill. “And what a difference a year and an election can make in our state. Last year, there were concerns that marriage equality would be banned here forever. Now, my signature will make it legal in 2 – ½ months,” as Reuters reported. Indeed, that a state would change its mind so quickly is peculiar, a strange effect of bipartisan politics.
7,000 people gathered for the event, lofting rainbow flags and American flags.
“The transformative nature of people talking about their love and their lives is clear, as we see in reaching this milestone in Minnesota, and in the fact that a clear and growing majority of Americans supports the freedom to marry,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, according to NBC News. “The many years of door-knocking, phone calls, and poignant conversations about why marriage matters have made a difference.”
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, and Washington State, are the other states and locations that have legalized same sex marriages.