MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Gov. Mark Dayton signs bill into law - KMSP-TV

MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Gov. Mark Dayton signs bill into law

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill granting all Minnesotans the freedom to marry during a signing ceremony held on the Capitol's south steps at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

"What a difference a year and an election can make in our state," Dayton said.

Some of the pens Dayton used to sign the law were handed out to those who helped craft it, and the law will officially take effect on Aug. 1.

Dayton has been a vocal supporter of marriage equality, making it the cornerstone of the message he delivered during his State of the State address in February.

Following a 75-59 vote in the House on Thursday and a 37-30 vote in the Senate on Monday, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage and the first Midwestern state to pass it by a legislative vote, joining Delaware and Rhode Island in similar passages within the last 10 days.


"We are redefining nothing," said Sen. Scott Dibble, who is both openly gay and the bill's chief sponsor in the Senate. "We are joining and affirming the thing we cherish and prize and value the most…For thousands of families, life will be better. That will change. We will be treating people fairly and we will be removing the barriers they have had to the full joys life has to offer. In so doing, we strengthen ourselves and we strengthen our democracy."

LGBT rights organization OutFront Minnesota said the group has been waiting for this day since launching support efforts in 1987.

"We were able to achieve this success because of the courageous individuals who stepped forward over the past 26 years and risked everything to come out and work for LGBT equality," OutFront executive director Monica Meyer said.


A handful of local venues and businesses have already expressed interest in offering services for marriages that can commence on Aug. 1.

Minneapolis City Hall will open at 12:01 a.m. on the first day all Minnesotans can legally marry, and Mayor RT Rybak plans to attend.

The Office of Management and Budget expects the state's general fund will collect $190,000 in marriage license fees in the first year alone.


St. Paul city officials announced an outdoor concert will be held immediately following the signing. More than half a dozen local performers are booked for the free "Love is Law" celebration at the Ecolab plaza in downtown.


5 p.m. Gov. Dayton remarks (Will be fairly short)

5:05 p.m. Dayton will sign the bill on a table next to podium

5:06 p.m. Rep. Karen Clark speaks (House bill sponsor)

5:12 p.m. Sen. Scott Dibble speaks (Senate bill sponsor)

5:18 p.m. Sen. Majority Leader Tom Bakk and House Speaker Paul Thissen speak

5:25 p.m. Richard Carlbom, Minnesotans United, speaks

5:30 p.m. Dr. Paul Melchert, Pediatrician and proponent of same-sex marriage, speaks


Marriage equality passes Minnesota House

Minnesota Senate passes Freedom to Marry Act


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