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Twelve down, 38 to go. Minnesota’s Senate voted 37–30 to allow same-sex couples to wed on Monday. It will become the 12th state to do so once Gov. Mark Dayton signs the bill, which he’s expected to do on Tuesday. “God made gays. And God made gays capable of loving other people of the same gender. Who are we to quibble with God’s intentions?” Judiciary Committee Chair Ron Latz said to the opposition.
"The state’s sole out gay senator, Sen. Scott Dibble, spoke in support of the bill he had backed.
Of the legislature’s prior decision to push forward the vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay couples from marriage, “I felt excluded,” he says of that decision. He added, though, “In an odd way, I’m kind of grateful, because we had an amazing conversations, Minnesotans,” that he said led to Monday’s vote for marriage equality.
“Today, we have the power, the awesome, humbling power, to make dreams come true, he said. “We will be removing barriers to the full joy life has to offer.” Of himself and his husband, Richard, whom he married in California in 2008, he says, “I’ve met the person I can’t live without.”
Referencing past leaders on the issue, including the late out gay Sen. Allan Spear, Dibble said, “We have an awesome responsibility, and it’s humbling to be in this chamber right now.”
The lead Republican supporter of the bill, Sen. Branden Petersen, spoke during the closing arguments about his reasons for working with Dibble on the bill.
“I stand here, quite honestly, more uncertain of my future in this place than I ever have, but when I walk out of this chamber today … I will be on the side of liberty,” Petersen said."
The bill was passed by the House last week and will go into effect on August 1.