Marriage equality legislation passed through Minnesota's Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday afternoon, with a 5-3 vote. All GOP Senators on the committee voted against the legislation.
This is the first such legislation, defining marriage between two people, not just man and woman, to have passed a legislative committee in Minnesota. The bill was ushered through by sponsor Senator Scott Dibble, and will now move to the House Civil Law Committee who could pass the legislation as early as late Tuesday night, then to a floor vote later in the session.
According to the Human Rights Campaign blog, "it was an incredible scene with overflow crowds filling viewing areas around the state Capitol in St. Paul."
"We're incredibly excited by the progress," State Legislative Director of the Human Rights Campaign, Sarah Warbelow, who testified in favor of the bill, said to 429Magazine. "It's just amazing to have partners on the ground like Project 515, OutFront Minnesota and Minnesota United." Each of the three organizations campaigned to progress marriage equality in the state.
The House Committee goes back into session this evening, and Warbelow expects a vote by midnight.
Governor Mark Dayton said in December of last year that he would sign a marriage equality bill if it reached his desk.