The Minnesota House of Representatives [official website] on Thursday approved a bill [HF 1054] to legalize same-sex marriage by a vote of 75-59 [press release], dividing mostly upon party lines. This bill moves Minnesota a step towards become the twelfth US state to legalize gay marriage. The bill will have to pass in the Senate before becoming law, but most expected the House to be the toughest [ NYT report] hurdle the bill would have to face. Governor Mark Dayton has supported the measure and has said that he would sign the bill.
Delaware and Rhode Island [JURIST report] become the latest states to legalize same-sex marriage, passing similar legislation this month. In March the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two same-sex marriage cases. The first case, Hollingsworth v. Perry [JURIST report], examines the validity of Proposition 8 [JURIST news archive], a California referendum that revoked same-sex marriage rights. In the second case, United States v. Windsor [JURIST report], the court examines the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. The court granted certiorari [JURIST report] in the two cases in December. Both cases could have an important impact on the ongoing same-sex marriage controversy in the US.