The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 13, 2013

Minn. Senate OKs gay marriage; governor to sign

ST. PAUL (AP) — Spurring onlookers' cheers, the Minnesota Senate voted Monday to make gay marriage legal, putting the state on the brink of becoming the 12th to allow same-sex couples to marry. Gov. Mark Dayton immediately announced he would sign the legislation Tuesday.

The Senate vote of 37-30 came four days after the House passed the bill on a 75-59 vote. When the tally was announced after more than four hours of debate, a huge cheer erupted in the chamber and gallery, where spectators stood and applauded.

Minnesota will become the first state in the Midwest to make gay marriage legal via a legislative vote. Iowa legalized same-sex marriage in 2009 through a court ruling. Under the legislation, gay couples will be able to get married starting on Aug. 1.

Last week, Dayton, a Democrat, called the bill "one of those society-changing breakthrough moments." His staff scheduled a signing ceremony for 5 p.m. Tuesday on the Capitol steps.

It's a rapid turnaround for gay marriage supporters, who just six months ago had to organize a massive effort to defeat a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage. The groups who defeated the amendment quickly turned their attention to legalizing gay marriage, and their efforts were aided by Democrats capturing full control of state government in November.

Only one Republican, Branden Petersen of suburban Andover, voted 'yes' on Monday. Three Democrats, all from rural Minnesota, voted against the bill.

In the last week and a half, Rhode Island and Delaware became the 10th and 11th states to legalize gay marriage. In Illinois, a gay marriage bill has cleared the state Senate but awaits a House vote.

The House vote last Thursday drew more than a thousand demonstrators representing both sides of the issue. But on Monday, the Capitol and grounds were dominated by gay marriage backers.

Supporters of gay marriage say they just want same-sex couples to have the same legal protections and societal validation that straight couples get with marriage.

Opponents say gay marriage undermines an important societal building block that benefits children, and also exposes people opposed on moral grounds to charges of bigotry.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • American doctor in Africa gets treatment for Ebola BOONE, N.C. (AP) — An American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola disease received intensive treatment Sunday in West Africa and was in stable condition, talking to his medical team and working on his computer, a spokeswoman for an aid group said.

    July 27, 2014

  • Salmonella Outbreak Trial [Duplicate] Trial in salmonella outbreak to start in Georgia ATLANTA (AP) — Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georg

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitfalls emerge in health insurance renewals WASHINGTON — For the 8 million people who persevered through all the technical travails in the new health insurance exchanges and managed to sign up for coverage in 2014, their policies will probably automatically renew come November when open enroll

    July 27, 2014

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas on Sunday agreed to observe a 24-hour truce in Gaza after initially rejecting a similar Israeli offer, as fighting resumed and the two sides wrangled over the terms of a lull that international diplomats had hoped c

    July 27, 2014

  • Solar car race to end at University of Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A cross-country solar car race is set to finish at the University of Minnesota on Monday. About 10 solar cars from colleges around the world are competing in the eight-day, 1,700-mile American Solar Challenge. The race began July

    July 27, 2014

  • Dozens of oil trains pass through Minnesota weekly Railroad documents released by the state Department of Public Safety show about 50 trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota are passing through Minnesota each week.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medical Marijuana [Duplicate] Wanted: Manufacturers for Minn. medical pot program After the long slog to legalize medical marijuana, the state's real work has begun to get the unconventional medicine in severely ill patients' hands by this time next year.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Minneapolis to NYC flight diverted to Milwaukee MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis to New York City has landed safely in Milwaukee after it was diverted. Delta spokeswoman Kate Modolo says the crew chose to divert the flight Saturday morning out of an abundance of caution a

    July 26, 2014

  • Hamas rejects 4-hour Gaza war truce extension BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Hamas official says the group has rejected a four-hour extension of a humanitarian truce proposed by Israel. Sami Abu Zuhri sent a text message to reporters Saturday, saying: "No agreement to extending the calm for an

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona execution renews debate over methods SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A third execution by lethal injection has gone awry in six months, renewing debate over whether there is a foolproof way for the government to humanely kill condemned criminals, and whether it's even worth looking for one. Death

    July 26, 2014