The Minnesota Senate is expected to give final approval on Monday to a bill that would make the state the 12th in the United States to allow same-sex couples to marry and only the second in the Midwest.
Leaders in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 39-28 majority, have said they believe they have the support to approve a bill legalizing gay marriage. They set a vote for Monday on the measure that members of the state House approved last week.
Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has said he would sign the bill, which would make Minnesota the third state this month to legalize gay marriage after Rhode Island and Delaware. The law would take effect August 1.
Minnesota would join Iowa as the only other Midwestern state to permit gay marriage and the first to do so through legislation. Iowa has permitted same-sex marriage since 2009 under a state Supreme Court order.
The Democratic-led state Legislature in Minnesota is expected to begin a final push on Thursday toward making it the 12th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples and the third this month after Delaware and Rhode Island.
Leaders in Minnesota’s state House of Representatives have scheduled a vote for Thursday to advance a bill recognizing same-sex marriage, which would be followed by a vote in the state Senate on Monday, party spokesmen have said.
Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has indicated that he supports making same-sex marriage legal in the state and has been pressing lawmakers for their backing.
House Speaker Paul Thissen had said he would not put the measure to the full House if leaders did not believe it had the support to pass. It is unclear if any Republicans will support the bill, but Democrats hold a 73-61 majority.
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware became the 11th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage when Democratic Gov. Jack Markell signed a gay marriage bill into law just minutes after its passage by the state Senate on Tuesday.
“I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer,” a smiling Markell told about 200 jubilant supporters who erupted in cheers and applause following the 12-9 Senate vote barely half an hour earlier.
“Delaware should be, is and will be a welcoming place to live and love and to raise a family for all who call our great state home,” Markell said.
Of course the comments seem to be running about 80% against, but that’s not surprising.
Nevada’s legislature is considering repealing the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage approved by voters in 2000. During the debate, Senate Democrat Kelvin Atkinson took to the floor:
On Monday, Nevada’s Senate kickstarted the state’s journey down the road toward ultimately repealing a constitutional ban on gay marriage that was first approved by voters in the year 2000.
Lawmakers who helped pass Senate Joint Resolution 13 by a margin of 12 to 9 said public opinion has since shifted in favor of same-sex marriage and a repeal of the ban.
The vote to overturn the ban followed an hour-long floor debate during which Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D-North Las Vegas) surprised many colleagues by taking the opportunity to formally come out.
“I’m 44 years old. I have a daughter. I’m black. I’m gay,” Atkinson said, the emotion clear in his voice. “I know this is the first time many of you have heard me say that I am a black, gay male.”
Echoing the sentiments expressed by a New Zealand lawmaker ahead of that country’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage, Atkinson assured opponents of marriage equality that “if this hurts your marriage, then your marriage was in trouble in the first place.”
Glenn Thrush and Reid Epstein report on one of the reasons that gun legislation failed in the Senate yesterday:
In the end,  moderates and conservatives in the upper chamber said they simply couldn’t deal with a flurry of progressive issues at once — from gay marriage to immigration to guns….One senator told a White House official that it was “Guns, gays and immigration — it’s too much. I can be with you on one or two of them, but not all three.”
Some are taking this to suggest that voting against the gun bill gives conservatives a little more room to maneuver on immigration. So the silver lining here is that all the no votes on guns might mean a few more yes votes on immigration. Ed Kilgore is skeptical:
I wouldn’t put much reliance on the idea that the demise of Manchin-Toomey is a blessing in disguise for progressives or for those still pining for a “bipartisan breeze” in Washington. For one thing, to continue the propitiation metaphor, the “base” is a jealous god, which views every act of ideological “betrayal” as sufficient to justify primary excommunication or primary challenges. For another, this fresh demonstration that “the base” has the power to compel party discipline on guns (only three Republicans joined former Club for Growth president Pat Toomey in the end) will make the desire to impose it on other subjects seem much more practicable.
I wish politicians in America felt they could speak and let go like this. An absolutely phenomenal speech by Maurice Williamson, MP for Pakuranga, New Zealand, during the third marriage equality bill reading.
Remember that widely discussed Republican National Committee diagnosis that explicitly recognized the need for the party to rethink its approach to gay rights issues? It said: “Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, this issue is a gateway into whether the party is a place they want to be.”
That was a nice sentiment. But here’s the reality:
The Republican National Committee passed resolutions Friday reaffirming its commitment to defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and calling on the Supreme Court to “uphold the sanctity of marriage” as it weighs rulings on two landmark cases involving gay marriage. At the RNC’s spring meeting in Los Angeles, committee members adopted a slate of resolutions unanimously and without discussion, a committee spokeswoman said.
What continues to remain striking here is that support for gay marriage is not just increasing among Americans overall. It’s that support for it is even higher than overall among the very groups among which Republicans themselves say they need to boost their party’s appeal.
Last month, hundreds of boisterous protesters converged in Washington, DC, as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s anti-gay marriage initiative, Proposition 8. Faith-based groups were on prominent display: the Methodists supporting marriage equality, the Westboro Baptists suggesting (per usual) that “God hates fags,” the Catholics both for and against gay marriage, clergy of all stripes. But one group that wasn’t there in any official capacity was the Church of Latter Day Saints—a.k.a. the Mormons—which perhaps more than any other religious group was responsible for getting Prop. 8 passed in the first place.
In the five years since the LDS church sent busloads of the faithful to California to canvass neighborhoods, and contributed more than $20 million via its members to support the initiative, it has all but dropped the rope in the public policy tug of war over marriage equality. The change stems from an even more remarkable if somewhat invisible transformation happening within the church, prompted by the ugly fight over Prop. 8 and the ensuing backlash from the flock.
Although the LDS’s prophet hasn’t described a holy revelation directing a revision in church doctrine on same-sex marriage or gay rights in general, the church has shown a rare capacity for introspection and humane cultural change unusual for a large conservative religious organization.
“It seems like the [Mormon] hierarchy has pulled the plug and is no longer taking the lead in the fight to stop same-sex marriage,” says Fred Karger, the LGBT activist who first exposed the church’s major role in the passage of Prop. 8. “The Mormon Church has lost so many members and suffered such a black eye because of all its anti-gay activities that they really had no choice. I am hopeful that the Catholic Church cannot be far behind.”
Dean Chambers, the git who humiliated himself with those “unskewed polls,” clearly has a big future as a wingnut pundit. Like all the other great ones, he is capable of writing the most astonishingly stupid things while remaining utterly oblivious to how ridiculous he is. Like did you know that “same-sex marriage is actually marriage inequality”? I didn’t either. But he does:
The real issue of same-sex marriage, or “gay marriage” as some call it, is allowing just three percent of the population to redefine marriage from something entirely different than what the word has meant for thousands of years.
Yeah, just like the Civil Rights Act was allowing just 13% of the population to redefine who could and couldn’t eat at a lunch counter for thousands of years. Wait, the percentage of people who benefit from equality has nothing to do with whether equality is a good thing? Gosh, I would never have guessed.
And something about a feud with Rush Limbaugh that the clip on this page seems to have missed the beginning of. Still, this is some pretty good argument porn. Extra marks for serial eye-rolling and constant interruption.