Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, in his State of the State address Feb. 6, called for marriage equality in the state.
The governor said, “Let me mention one other cause, 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.”
A campaign is under way in Minnesota to legalize same-sex marriage, but is unclear whether activists and lawmakers can move quickly enough on legislation this spring. There's general agreement at the Capitol that legislators priority this month and next will be the budget.
Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn also called for marriage equality in his State of the State address this week. A bill has passed the Illinois Senate Executive Committee and may be voted upon on the Senate floor on Valentine’s Day.
Same-sex marriage already is legal in Iowa while, across Lake Michigan, activists are organizing an initiative asking voters to legalize gay marriage on Michigan’s November 2014.