Minnesota has approved marriage equality after several hours of debate in the state Senate and a vote of 37-30. It will become the 12th state in the nation (with the District of Columbia) to offer its citiizens the freedom to marry.
The House passed the bill last week in a 75-59 vote.
Minnesota is also the first state in the midwest to pass marriage equality by an act of the legislature. Iowa's marriage equality law was ushered in by the state Supreme Court.
The Star Tribune reports:
"It's historic and I can never be so proud of this body and of Minnesotans," said Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis. On the Senate floor, Hayden said that his wife is white and noted that just 50 years ago, his loving relationship would have been barred.
Three Democrats – Sens. LeRoy Stumpf, Dan Sparks and Lyle Koenen – voted against the bill. One Republican, Sen. Branden Petersen, voted yes.
Up until the last moments, some opponents had hoped the bill would fail despite clear indications that it would head to the Dayton's desk.
Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, said up until the last he was praying for a miracle and the Senate to reject the bill.
“Some people have said that they are concerned about being on the right side of history. I am more concerned about being on the right side of eternity,” said Hall.
Governor Mark Dayton will sign the bill into law in a ceremony tomorrow at 5 pm on the steps of the state Capitol.