shutterstock_58315135Yesterday the Minnesota state Senate approved a bill that will allow same-sex couples to marry in the state beginning August 1, 2013. The Minnesota Senate voted in favor of marriage equality 37 to 30, after the state House approved the bill on Thursday in a vote of 75 to 59. Governor Mark Dayton (D) is scheduled to sign the bill into law tomorrow.

Senator Roger Reinert (DFL-District 07) spoke to members of the Senate about his sister’s choice to marry and about his own future dreams of marriage: “Fifty years ago, it would be about the color of her skin. One hundred years ago, it would be about her gender. Each time our country reached this decision point it has come out on the right side of history… Expanding rights does nothing to diminish mine. I vote today to give something that is not mine to give. I vote today to recognize for all, the very same desires I have for myself.”

Senator Vicki Jensen (DFL-District 24) said, “I could never and I would never deny the kind of recognition and all the other positive things I get out of my marriage with my husband, to anyone else.”

Senator Scott Dibble (DFL-District 61), the bill’s sponsor, argued before the Senate, “Here in Minnesota, Richard [my husband] and I are legal strangers to each other. How can that be OK?… Vote yes for freedom, vote yes for family, for commitment, for responsibility, for dignity. Vote yes for love.”

Once the governor signs the bill into law, Minnesota will join Rhode Island, Delaware and nine other states and the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex couples to marry. Delaware and Rhode Island approved similar measures last week.

Media Resources: Associated Press 5/13/2013; Christian Science Monitor 5/13/2013; MSNBC 5/13/2013; Feminist Newswire 5/10/2013, 5/8/2013

Flowers in front of State Capitol of Minnesota in St. Paul from Shutterstock