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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 8, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 6
Minnesota governor calls for marriage equality
Section One
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Minnesota governor calls for marriage equality

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called for marriage equality in his annual State of the State address to the state legislature on February 6.

'Let me mention one other cause,' Dayton said after outlining his budget priorities for the coming year, 'which is controversial, but consistent with my faith and my principles. And, more importantly, consistent with this country's founding principles and its Constitution. I believe that every Minnesotan should have the freedom to marry legally the person she or he loves, whether of the same or other sex.'

Referring to the November election in which Minnesota voters rejected an anti-Gay marriage amendment, the governor continued, 'Last year, Minnesotans began a conversation about why marriage matters, and we found our common belief that it is about love, commitment, and responsibility.

'I want Minnesota to be a state which affirms that freedom for one means freedom for everyone, and where no one is told it is illegal to marry the person you love.'

CHILLY GOP RECEPTION
The governor's remarks drew a standing ovation from his Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party legislators, who have a majority in both houses of the Minnesota legislature, but Republican lawmakers sat in silence.

'I'm not sure that now is exactly the time to be talking about that. This is an issue that certainly the state of Minnesota is divided on,' said House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt. 'We really need to be focused on the budget and growing the economy and creating jobs.'

A campaign is under way in Minnesota to legalize same-sex marriage, but is unclear whether activists and lawmakers can pass a bill this spring, the Wisconsin Gazette, a regional LGBT newspaper, said.

Dayton was elected governor in 2010, after serving one term in the U.S. Senate (2001-07). As a senator, Dayton co-sponsored the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act to extend spousal benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees. He also voted against a proposed constitutional amendment to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

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