On the front steps of the state capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton signed a marriage equality bill into law Tuesday at 5 p.m. Central time, just one day after the state House approved the legislation with one Republican joining the entire Democratic caucus in supporting the bill.
When same-sex couples in Minnesota begin marrying August 1, Minnesota will officially become the 12th state — in addition to Washington, D.C. — in the U.S. to enact marriage equality. With the governor's signature, Minnesota also becomes the first Midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage through the legislature, since marriage equality came to Iowa as the result of a unanimous ruling by the state Supreme Court in 2009.
The Minnesota House of Representatives approved House File 1054, the marriage equality bill, by a bipartisan vote of 75-59 last Thursday. Four House Republicans joined Democrats voting in favor of the bill.
In November 2012, Minnesota voters rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have banned marriage for same-sex couples, only the second time an electorate had rejected such an antigay proposal.