Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Monday, the Minnesota Senate is expected to vote to legalize gay marriage. And Gov. Mark Dayton has already said he will sign the measure into law.
It’s a remarkable turnaround from a year ago when early polls showed a majority of Minnesotans ready to vote in favor of a constitutional ban on gay unions.
So what’s happened?
What a difference a year makes. For a time last year it looked like Minnesota voters were going to approve a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. But the marriage amendment not only went down to defeat, it’s been widely blamed for a backlash that lead to republicans losing majorities in both the Minnesota House and Senate.
With Democrats in control of the governor’s office, as well as the legislature, supporters realized they might never have a better chance. The vote in the Minnesota House last week was supposed to be close but in the end the bill legalizing unions passed by a comfortable margin with even four Republicans voting in favor.
House Speaker Paul Thissen appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“From the beginning people thought it could pass the Senate so I think in a day or two Minnesota will become the 12th state and more importantly the first state to vote to legalize same-sex marriage,” he said. “Iowa has it as a result of a court decision. This vote here in Minnesota makes it truly a national phenomenon.”
The measure is expected to pass the Senate easily. But republicans have a warning — they point to polls showing most Minnesotans don’t favor legalization of gay unions and they predict that democrats will pay for overreaching in 2014 when the governor and the entire Minnesota House are up for reelection.
You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.