Marriage equality advocates are celebrating after Minnesota lawmakers have unveiled a new bill.
Sponsors of the same-sex marriage bill are aiming to repeal the outright 1997 ban prohibiting marriage for gay couples.
At a news conference today (27 February), co-author of the bill Scott Dibble spoke out in favor of marriage equality.
‘We are all human beings equal in the eyes of God,’ he said. ‘We’re affirming things that we all prize, love at the center of marriage.’
It is a bi-partisan bill, with Republican Senator Branden Peterson publicly supporting marriage equality in Minnesota.
The bill follows a Freedom to Marry Day rally on Valentine’s Day, when over 2,000 people marched in support for same-sex marriage.
In November 2012, Minnesota was one of four US states to back gay rights at the ballot box.
Voters defeated bill that would have amended the constitution to say marriage is defined only between a man and a woman.
The bill is expected to have protections for religious organizations, ensuring they will not have to bless gay unions.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has indicated he would sign a bill to legalize same-sex marriage if it were to reach his desk.