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Dayton: Gay Marriage Would Represent ‘Breakthrough Moment’

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gov. Mark Dayton says that the impending votes on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota are “a society-changing, breakthrough moment” for the state and reiterated his commitment to signing the legislation into law, should it pass in the House and Senate.

The House is set to vote on the bill on Thursday. A vote in the Senate could take place as soon as Saturday.

Dayton told lawmakers as-yet undecided on how they planned on voting they should read former President John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage,” suggesting a vote in favor of gay marriage would represent another courageous moment. He has been meeting with DFL leaders this week as supporters of the bill work to secure the necessary votes.

An interfaith vigil has been scheduled to take place at a Twin Cities church in anticipation of the vote. The “Freedom To Marry Vigil” will take place at Christ Lutheran on Capitol Hill Church at 7 p.m.

The vigil is being organized by Minnesotans United, the group that worked to defeat last year’s proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage in the state.

The bill needs 68 votes in the House to pass. DFL leaders say they wouldn’t have called for the vote, unless they were certain it would pass. House Speaker Paul Thissen, of Minneapolis, said that the 73-member Democratic majority he leads will produce at least the 68 votes needed to pass the bill.

Democrats say they hope some Republicans will also vote for the bill. As of yet, no House Republicans have committed to vote for the bill.

A vote in the state Senate could also come this week.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would sign the bill if it arrives on his desk. If approved, same-sex couples could start getting married as soon as August 1.

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