Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton officially signed gay marriage into law Tuesday (14 May) during a spirited ceremony on the steps of the statehouse attended by thousands of cheering supporters.
'What a day for Minnesota,' Dayton said. 'And what a difference a year and an election can make.'
The governor pointed out that last year, there was concern that same-sex marriage might be banned forever in the state. But the referendum was defeated last November and 'now my signature will make it legal in two-and-a-half months.'
Same-sex couples can begin getting married in the state on 1 August.
On Monday, the State Senate passed a marriage equality bill by a vote of 37-30. That vote came a week after the House of Representatives passed gay marriage legislation.
Dayton told the crowd that before the votes, he had encouraged lawmakers to read John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize winning book Profiles in Courage.
He was flanked buy many of them at the ceremony and praised them for showing 'political courage.'
'You changed the course of history for our state and for our nation,' the governor said.
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