Minnesota will become just the 12th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriages when Governor Mark Dayton signs the bill Tuesday.

Supporters of the bill gathered at the capital Monday to celebrate the vote making its way through the Senate, and they once again lined the steps on Tuesday to commemorate the expected signing by Governor Dayton.

Dayton has been a proponent of the bill since its inception, and he urged lawmakers to support the bill as it passed thought the State House and State Senate.  State Senator Tony Lourey shared Dayton’s view on the bill, saying “In my heart of hearts, I know that today loves wins.”

Even though the bill will be signed Tuesday, same-sex marriages won’t be legal until August.  Beginning August 1, same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license just like any other couple.

The Stars Aligned

Just over six months ago, Minnesota sat at the opposite end of the marital spectrum.  Along with voting for who would lead our country in the coming years, Minnesotans held a vote to decide if the state should amend the constitution to define marriage as between “a man and a woman”.  Family Law Attorney Kelsey Swanson said after Minnesotans voted against the amendment, the proverbial same-sex ball began to roll.

“Piggy-backing off of the great momentum generated by the defeat of the marriage amendment, as well as taking advantage of a democratic house, senate and governor, Minnesotans proved that this was the perfect time to push for the legalization of gay marriage,” said Swanson.

Once the marriage amendment was defeated, state legislators began to re-examine the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage.  Swanson said they eventually drafted a bill that had a more expansive definition of marriage.

“A bill was written to change the term ‘marriage’ in state law to ‘civil marriage,’ and expand the definition of who is eligible from ‘a man and a woman’ to ‘two persons,’” said Swanson.

Once the measure was adopted, it needed to get the approval of state legislators.  During the last six days:

  • The bill passed the State House by a margin of 75-59 on Thursday.
  • On Monday, the bill was approved by the State Senate by a margin of 37-30.
  • Once signed by Dayton on Tuesday, the proposed bill will officially become law, which will go into effect August 1, 2013.

Celebrations Planned

Although hundreds of people are already celebrating the soon-to-be-signed bill, more events have been planned for Tuesday night.

Governor Dayton will sign the bill at 5 p.m., and the festivities will commence shortly after.  The Minnesota Freedom Band will lead a procession from the capitol to Ecolab Plaza, where the festival will take place.  Some more details about the event can be seen below.

What:  “Love is Law” concert featuring some of Minnesota’s best local music.

Where:  Ecolab Plaza.

When:  6 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.

Who:  Featured bands include the Minnesota Freedom Band, Jack Brass Band, DJ Jake Rudh, H$B, Zoo Animal, P.O.S., Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Chan Poling and Friends (The Suburbs) and Mayor Chris Coleman.

Why:  To celebrate the passage of House File 1054/Senate File 925, which officially legalizes same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Related source: NY Times