February 1, 2024

When Was Gay Marriage Legalized in Minnesota?

MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of Minnesotans cheered as Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill making same-sex marriage legal in the state, a day after it passed the Senate and the House. Flags of all colors flapped in a sweltering breeze as the crowd spilled down the steps and across the lawn at the state Capitol. The ceremony was just a few weeks after voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

For those involved in the campaign for the amendment, the day was a moment of vindication. They feared their effort to place it on the ballot would fail. They had spent months in the sweltering State Capitol, camped out in the corridors and chanted their message, despite the fact that Republicans control both chambers and the governor.

At the time, they weren't sure when a change would occur. But they had a sense that they needed to stop saying no and start saying yes.

They knew that they had to find a leader with two things: the ability to raise money, and a willingness to talk about the prejudices that still exist. Enter Richard Carlbom, a political strategist who has worked on big and small campaigns for a variety of causes.

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