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Minnesota passes marriage equality bill

The Minnesota Senate voted 37-30 to pass marriage equality legislation on Monday, making the state the 12th in the nation to legalize gay marriage and the third to pass a marriage equality measure in 2013. Governmore Mark Dayton has announced he will sign the bill as early as Tuesday, and it will go into effect on August 1st.

As reported by ABC News:

Senator Scott Dibble, the bill's architect, has said the stronger-than-expected vote from representatives was very encouraging and urged same-sex marriage supporters to continue active lobbying for the bill right up to Monday's vote.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of the proposal to legalize same-sex marriage demonstrated at the Capitol on Thursday. A similar atmosphere was expected on Monday.

The vote on Thursday was a sharp reversal for Minnesota's legislature. Two years ago, Republicans controlled both chambers and bypassed the governor to put forward a ballot measure that would have made the state's current ban on gay marriage part of the state constitution.

Minnesota voters in November rejected that measure and also voted in Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate, setting the legislature on the path toward Monday's vote.

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