For Immediate Release
Minnesota Becomes 12th State to Pass Freedom to Marry
St. Paul, MN - With the State Senate passing freedom to marry legislation today, 37-30, Minnesota is poised to become the 12th state to legalize marriage for same-sex couples. The House passed the bill on May 9, and Gov. Mark Dayton, a strong advocate for marriage, is expected to sign it tomorrow.
Weddings for same-sex couples will begin on Aug. 1. The win for marriage marks a sharp turnaround, coming only six months after voters defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to exclude gay and lesbian couples from marriage.
Thalia Zepatos, Freedom to Marry’s director of public engagement and a strategic adviser to Minnesotans United for All Families, released the following statement: “After last week’s strong showing of support, legislators finished the job today, standing up for fairness and dignity for all Minnesota families. Coming on the heels of victories in Rhode Island and Delaware, this win for marriage shows that the freedom to marry is a value that Americans across the country stand behind. Freedom to Marry is proud to have helped create Minnesotans United for All Families, whose work to shore up legislative support – not to mention fending off an anti-gay amendment in last fall – makes the whole movement proud.”
Richard Carlbom, campaign manager of Minnesotans United for All Families, said: "Freedom to Marry has been an indispensable partner in this fight -- from our victory at the ballot box in November to the Legislature's stand for fairness today. So many Minnesotans have waited a long time for this joyful day, and Minnesotans United could not be more proud to have worked with Freedom to Marry to make it a reality."
Beginning in 2010, Freedom to Marry prioritized fending off an anti-gay constitutional amendment and then passing freedom to marry legislation. Since the outset, Freedom to Marry was the lead national partner in the Minnesota campaign for marriage, helping form Minnesotans United for All Families and serving on its board, providing strategic and messaging guidance, and conducting the public education media campaign. Freedom to Marry was the lead investor in both the efforts to defeat the anti-gay amendment and the legislative campaign, providing $2.3 million in total.
Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Headed by Evan Wolfson, one of America's leading civil rights advocates and lawyers, Freedom to Marry brings new resources and a renewed context of urgency and opportunity to this social justice movement.