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Minnesota senate approves same-sex marriage bill

The Minnesota Senate [official website] voted 37-30 Monday in favor of a bill [HF 1054 materials] legalizing same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder]. The bill was approved [JURIST report] by the House of Representatives last week and will now go to Governor Mark Dayton [official websites] to be signed into law. Dayton has been a supporter of the legislation and has pledged to sign it during a ceremony at 5 PM EST on Tuesday. Once the bill is signed into law, Minnesota will be the twelfth US state to legalize same-sex marriage and the first Midwestern state to do so through legislative action. Iowa legalized same-sex marriage [JURIST report] through a court ruling in 2009. The legislation is set to take effect August 1.

Earlier in May, both Delaware and Rhode Island [JURIST reports] approved same-sex marriage legislation. 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 will examine the constitutionality of Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive]. 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.

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