Gov. Dayton signs same-sex marriage legislation


An MPR News live blog | Complete coverage

  • How much longer? Chris Rathbun does the math:
    "If there are 134 members and each speaks for 3min, that's 6.7 hours of talk before a vote and they have been talking about the main bill for an hour now? My guess is a vote around 8pm tonight. Here's hoping I'm wrong and it's sooner."
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  • Rep. albright - A member rose and gave pause to the meaning of courage. It said that courage is something that is developed; that it must be practiced. Courage is the act of steppin gout and doing what needs to be done when you don't know what the responsible is going to be. Sometimes, by disagreeing with the people that you need something from or given somethign to. As you contemplate your decision on this floor for this issue on this day, i ask you to have courage.
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  • Rep. Steve Simon (DFL) -- The initial critique of gays was their separateness, their otherness, that they wanted separate enclaves and institutions. Now the opposite is happening. Those gay and lesbians brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles... they're running toward, not away from those institutions. They want integration. They want to fight and , in some cases, die for our country They simply wnat to be part of the most loving, stable, and nurturing institutino our society knows. We should embrace their embrace.
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  • MPR News reporter Tom Scheck (@tomscheck) continues his live radio reports from the Capitol:

    The House is still debating the merits of the bill, in exchanges that have been mostly civil at this point.

    "The discussion has gone mostly party-line," Scheck reports, though he's keeping an eye on legislators who have changed their votes.

    Republican Rep. Tony Cornish of Vernon Center spoke against the bill, citing his background ("Mom and Dad back on the farm"), his convictions (Christian) and his interpretation of the Bible as reasons for his stance on the issue. But primarily, he said, it's driven by a responsibility to the people he represents: "I am not a homophobe or a Neanderthal or a hater … and with that… the reasons that I'm voting no is that my constituents back home, the majority of them, want me to vote no."

    He asked his colleagues to continue the debate with respect and understanding.

    Democrats, who also tended toward the party line in support of the bill, talked primarily about equality and civil rights, Scheck reports.

    Rep. Joe Mullery, a DFLer from Minneapolis, told his colleagues: "If you support equality today, I think you'll be proud of it your whole life. … Now is the time to give young children equal opportunities growing up, whether their parents are gay or straight. ...

    "It is really insidious what we are doing to those children [of gay parents] under present law. … To paraphrase a great Minnesotan, now is the time to step out of the darkness of discrimination and into the bright light of equality for GLBT" citizens.

    MPR's Scheck reports that DFL officials say they have the majority vote necessary to pass H.F. 1054. There is potential, however, that the amendments passed today could sway some House members.

    There's still no telling how long today's session will go; it's possible that every legislator could take a moment to speak -- or the House could end the debate and take a vote.

    "It's up to them," Scheck says.
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  • Rep. Simon tears up and pauses after passing along this line from a rabbi: "the moment when night turns into day is when you look into the eyes of a stranger, and see the face of your brother."
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  • Rep. Kurt Daudt (GOP)- Two years ago I voted to allow Minnesotans to weigh in on this issue. this past November we heard from Minnesotans on this issue. 47% of MNs said they wanted to put marriage in the constitution between one man and onw woman. 53% said they did not. We learned this is an issue that deeply divides Mns. What we did not learn is that MNs did not want us to define marriage. if I made a mistake in the approacyh I took, it's that I didn't consider both sides of the issue.
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  • Rep. Daudt: - All of us represent constituents and in every one of our district, someone on each side of this issue. So I know it's not an easy decision to make... but I fear at a time when half the people are saying 'yes' and half are saying 'no,' half of the people might be saying this isn't coming soon enough and the other half saying this is coming too son. it's our contemplative nature to come here and decide when might be the right time. I 'm not sure this isn't the right move, but I'm sure this isn't the right time.
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  • We keep hearing about the definition of marriage being thousands of years old (or any of the ways that idea has been phrased). Yet until relatively recently, marriage was defined as between you and whoever your parents and grandparents chose for you to marry. The Church of England was founded after Henry VIII decided he no longer wanted to be married to Catherine of Aragon. Until Loving v. Virginia, marriage was between two people of the same skin color and race. We've been "redefining" marriage throughout history--and improving that definition.
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  • GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt is speaking now. This could be a sign the debate is wrapping up.
  • DFL House Majority Leader Erin Murphy is speaking. Decorum typically signals Rep. Clark comes right after and then a vote.
  • Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL) - While we haven't all agreed, we've listened to each other respectfully, Minnesotan to Minnesotan. A letter from a MN I represent. Phillip Hicks: I'm asking you to help ensure all MNs are treated equally. It's my home. I went to college here, shared myf irst kiss here, fallen in love here, and I want the opportunity to get married here. When I mvoed to MN, it was the first time I felt like I could be myself. It's time we recognize a committment to equality. Since I was 18, he says, I've believed MN is a place where dreams can come true.
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  • Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL) - As a young girl, I knew that (my mother's wedding veil) meant something more than sometjhing to put on my head. It was somethign I hoped for myself one day. As an adult, I was free to make the choice. It's a story that's going to happen 5, 10, 20 years from now. A co-worker, a best friend, your son, your daughter, or your grandchildren. let's say it's a story about Frances. You haven't seen her in a while, she gives you a call and want sto meet at a coffee shop. When she bounds through the door, she says "I've found the person i can spend the rest of my life with." I want to ask her some questions. Do you make each other laugh. She says, evey day. Do you pick each other up when feeling down? She says, yes. Do you really love each other? and she says "yes, deeply and completely." And I smile knowing that because that's the only question that needs to be asked.

    this is MN. And every person is free to marry the person that they love. That's the Minnesota I love.
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  • Rep. Clark speaking. I presume this means we're near the end.
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  • MPR News reporter Tom Scheck (@tomscheck) has been covering the marriage debate live from the Capitol. He's reporting now on the radio:

    Typically, Scheck says, the way that House decorum goes is that the bill's author speaks last, he or she discusses the merits of the bill, and then the bill goes up for a vote.

    We're not certain how long the vote could take. Scheck says he has covered bills in which the vote has taken seconds, and others in which it has taken 10 or 15 minutes.

    Democrats have said they have the votes to pass the bill; they haven't said how many votes they have.

    The House has been the bellwether on this issue, Scheck says. The Senate and governor have already said they support it.

    Rep. Clark is still speaking, and a vote, Scheck says, is near.
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  • "A total of 31 lawmakers spoke on the issue...22 Democrats and just 9 Republicans," via @5hauser
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  • Rep. karen Clark - We're not redefining marriage; we're strengthening it by opening it to couples who are committed. I invite you to say "yes" to marriage equality and i recognize the courage and integrity of all of you regardless of how you vote. I'm humbled to be the author of this bill.
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  • And here comes the vote.
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  • MPR reporter Scheck, from the Capitol: "We'll be looking here to see if there are some Republicans who support it and some Democrats who oppose it."
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  • Stand by a second and I'll post the pix of the roll call board.
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  • We'll keep going on this live blog for a while longer to post reaction, photos and more.
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  • Ear-shattering cheers (and some boos) as House members leave the chambers. t.co

    Jennifer Brooks is a reporter with the Star Tribune
    by Jennifer Brooks via twitter edited by Michael Olson, MPR News 5/9/2013 8:08:37 PM
  • Roll call vote on HF1054

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  • This concludes my role in the live-blog. Stand by for the reaction and analysis and thank you for joining us on the live blog today.
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  • Live on MPR News radio:

    Tom Crann, All Things Considered host: "This is more than a strict party-line vote, right?"

    MPR News politics reporter Tom Scheck: "There are 73 Democrats in the chamber, so there had to be some Republicans who voted for it."

    One of those was Rep. David FitzSimmons, who proposed an amendment to the bill that would define marriage as "civil marriage" and therefore protect religious institutions from fines or other penalties if they refused to perform same-sex marriages.

    Another Republican who voted yes: Rep. Jennifer Loon of Eden Prairie, who has been on the fence on the issue. When the bill was before the House Ways and Means Committee, she didn't vote at all. But she said her constituents were mostly in support of legalizing same-sex marriage.
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  • Republicans Loon, Fitzsimmons, Kieffer and Garofalo voted for the bill. Democrats Sawatzky and Fritz were no votes.
  • Closing remarks from Representative Karen Clark (DFL) District: 62A

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  • "Supporters of Freedom to Marry are singing 'Chapel of Love' via KARE11 political reporter John Croman.
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  • Supporters of same-sex marriage chant "thank you" as DFL leaders leave chamber.
  • Rep Peggy Scott "in tears" after the House voted to legalize gay marriage. "My heart breaks for Minnesota," she tells Star Tribune reporter Jennifer Brooks.
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  • Karen Clark greets supporters outside House chambers door. Huge wave of applause. Marriage bill passes House. t.co

    Jon Croman is a political reporter for KARE11
    by JohnCroman via twitter edited by Michael Olson, MPR News 5/9/2013 8:22:52 PM
  • DFL Rep. Steve Simon: "It's not time to uncork the champagne yet but it's chilling."
    Next stop MN Senate on Monday.
  • via Star Tribune reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger

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  • GOP Sen. Branden Petersen gets loud applause at rally after vote.
  • Minn. House passes same-sex marriage bill
    by Paul Tosto, Minnesota Public Radio
    May 9, 2013

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Six months after Minnesotans rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, the Minnesota House Thursday made an historic turn, voting to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

    In a respectful and sometimes emotional debate that led to a vote largely along party lines, the House voted 75-59 to allow same-sex couples to be legally married in the state, sanctioning those civil unions and opening doors to financial and other government benefits they are now denied.

    Thousands of supporters and opponents of the bill packed the Capitol corridors and their chants and rally cries could be heard in the background of the three-hour debate while larger crowds gathered outside in the rain.

    The author of the bill, State Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, told her colleagues that gay couples "contribute to the same Minnesota system as everyone else'' and deserve the right to be married.

    "My family knew firsthand that same-sex couples pay our taxes, we vote, we serve in the military, we take care of our kids and our elders and we run businesses in Minnesota,'' said Clark, who is gay. "... Same-sex couples should be treated fairly under the law, including the freedom to marry the person we love.''

    Opponents argued the bill would alter a centuries-old conception of marriage and leave those people opposed for religious reasons tarred as bigots.

    "We are redefining an institution that has been the bedrock of our society for generations," said bill opponent Rep. Kelby Woodard, R-Belle Plaine.

    The state Senate is expected to vote Monday on the legislation.

    Read more.
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  • Petersen: "this isn't a partisan issue." He mentions GOP votes by Fitzsimmons, Kieffer, Loon and Garofalo.
  • DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen: "We proved that the golden rule is alive and well in Minnesota."
  • Minnesota's House vote today brings the state one step closer to becoming the 12th state in the Union to allow same-sex marriage.

    Delaware passed a similar law this week, joining Washington, Maryland, Maine and seven other states that have laws explicitly legislating marriage equality. (See map)

    Gov. Jack Markell signed Delaware's bill into law Tuesday after the state senate's 12-9 vote.

    The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal reported:

    "According to the bill, Delawareans will be able to enter into same-sex marriages effective July 1. The law provides a mechanism for converting existing same-sex civil unions established in Delaware to marriages. ...

    Under the bill, no new civil unions will be performed in Delaware after July 1, and existing civil unions will be converted to marriages over the next year. The legislation also states that same-sex unions established in other states will be treated the same as marriages under Delaware law.

    The bill does not force clerics to perform same-sex marriages that conflict with their religious beliefs. But under an existing Delaware law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, business owners who refuse to provide marriage-related services to same-sex couples for reasons of conscience could be subject to discrimination claims."
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  • Post-vote rally in Capitol rotunda (MPR Photo/Sasha Aslanian)

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  • If Minnesota Senate passes gay marriage bill, #mDayton aide expects Tuesday would be soonest signing ceremony #mnleg

    Brian Bakst is a St. Paul AP correspondent
    by Brian Bakst via twitter edited by Jon Gordon, MPR News 5/9/2013 9:15:58 PM
  • Representative Karen Clark leaves the House chamber after members voted 75-59 in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota Thursday, May 9, 2013 at the State Capitol. Clark was greeted by her partner and supporters chanting "Karen, Karen, Karen." (MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson)

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  • MPR News reporter Sasha Aslanian talked to All Things Considered host Tom Crann on the radio just now:

    "It pretty much blew out my eardrums when that vote came through," Sasha says.

    Three levels of the Minnesota Capitol's rotunda were full, she says, mostly with supporters of the bill.

    "There's really just a sense of surprise and happiness from them at how far they've come -- and how quickly."

    The crowd morphed throughout the day, as the House debate ceded to a vote.

    "When I first got here, at about 11:30 a.m., it felt like there were about half supporters of the bill and half opponents," she says, "and then it started to shift." As debate came to a close the rotunda was dominated by supporters.

    The message all day from opponents of the bill, she says, was that it's important for children to have a mom and a dad. Opponents she spoke with later in the day were oftentimes quietly praying or standing alone. Many told her it was a very sad day.

    For the most part, the scene inside the Capitol was civil; there were no security problems. Once in a while, though, the heat did rise. "People were really cheek-by-jowl … and a couple women really started arguing with each other, right then and there," she says. Sasha witnessed a verbal exchange between two women, who ultimately took their argument outside.
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  • For Minn., big changes on same-sex marriage in short amount of time
    by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
    May 10, 2013

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Just two years ago, Republicans, who then controlled the Legislature, thought it would help them politically to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would ban same-sex marriage.

    It's been a quick turnaround from then until now.

    After Thursday's vote, same-sex marriage supporters inside the Capitol erupted with joy. But for years, one man stood silently outside of the House and Senate nearly every day holding a sign encouraging lawmakers to recognize his marriage.

    "It says 'marriage equality this year' but Sen. [John] Marty came up to me and said 'you should change that to this week,' " said Doug Benson of Robbinsdale.

    Benson has been at the Capitol since 2007, either asking lawmakers to defeat a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage or encouraging them to legalize it. After six years, Benson said he's feeling a sense of relief.

    "When this passes, it's going to be such an important lift for so many people in the state," Benson said. "Not just the couples that can get married, not just the couples that are already married from other jurisdictions that will have their recognized, but also the kids. The ones who are killing themselves because they think they have no future because they're gay."

    Read more.
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