News & Politics

Semi-live Blog of Minnesota’s Marriage Equality Vote


Rainbow flags on the Wabasha Bridge, St. Paul  [PHOTO: via VIKKI REICH]

 Today, the Minnesota state senate will be voting on marriage equality (it having passed the house on Thursday).  Vikki, our gal in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, will be there with bells on and a smartphone in hand. Watch this space as we file her report, Tweet-by-Tweet and text-by-text.  And look for a photo gallery and wrap-up from her tomorrow.  Want some context for the vote? You can start with this piece filed this morning at Freedom to Marry: “Today: Minnesota could become the 12th state to pass the freedom to marry!”   ~Polly

[Timestamps in Central Daylight Time; refresh often for updates ’cause they’re comin’ in fast n’ furious!]


Arroio Grande 4: 35pm Governor Dayton to sign tomorrow on the Capitol stairs at 5pm. Can’t really hear the speeches. So this is Fox, signing off. Let’s celebrate! 4:30pm Scott Dibble takes center stage in rotunda to speak. Kudos to Senate Majority Leader Bach. It’s the older men and women in here today… those of us (and those older than me) who spent most of their lives thinking this could never be possible.

Miguel: “So, you and Mae will get married on August 6th?”
Me: “Yes.”
Miguel: “You promise?”
Me: “Yes. I promise.”

4:25pm Crowd chanting “Thank you!” Senators leaving chambers to applause and high fives.

[Audio of cheering in the Minnesota state capitol rotunda here.]

4:23pm Twenty years after I fell in love, I can marry her! Luisa, will you marry me?!

4:21pm It passed and people are screaming. So many people sobbing!

4:12pm  10% of battery left! Come on vote! [Ed note: And kid pick-up time for the home office fielding these updates! Come on, vote!]

4:01pm  Last speaker and then the vote! Scott Dibble is speaking. This is it. People are chanting “Here we go.”

3:56pm  Back in the bathroom trying to get enough charge to limp across the marriage vote finish line. Word in the bathroom is that speeches are still happening.

3:42pm  Miguel appears out of thin air with a giant cardboard sign that says “I DO support marriage equality.” Have no idea where he got it. Ha.

beginningtounveilrainbowflag3:41pm  MN State Capitol rotunda right now. [Image at right courtesy Vikki. Note rainbow flag just waiting to be unfurled.].

3:36pm  They are about to vote!

3:19pm  Getting tired. Maybe I don’t want to get married anymore. I’M KIDDING! So much talky talk senators.

3:13pm  Waiting in the bathroom charging the phone until the last possible moment. People are very friendly in the bathroom.

3:01pm  Maybe getting close to the vote. Security came by to remind us that nothing can be thrown over the rotunda – including glitter.

2:50pm  Report from bathroom cellphone charging session: hearing boos. Must be taking statements from senators. Everyone will have a chance to speak before the vote.

2:40pm  It’s so crowded which means it is so hot. You can barely move anywhere. But I’m going to stay in here until the vote.

2:29pm  Mayor RT Rybak announces to the crowd that it takes five days to get a marriage license. Licenses (would begin being issued) August 1, “And then come on down to city hall on August 6 to get married!” Crowd went wild!

2:12pm  I’m sweaty and I smell a little bit and my phone is dying. #livebloggingproblems

Vikki+MayorRybeck2:03pm  No big deal. Just had my pic taken with RT Ryback, Mayor of Minneapolis.

1:57pm  Apparently now that the amendments have failed they will begin debating the actual bill.

1:53pm  Little gay guy in front of me says that Republican amendments to the bill have failed which is good news.

1:51pm  We are all just waiting for the vote. It’s really hot in here… and a little moist.

1:38pm  Apparently voting on an amendment to bil. No details. Crowd chanting “I believe we will win!”

1:26pm  Sign: “Hmong gay men in solidarity for marriage equality!”

1:26pm  They are doing the wave! Singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” [Ed note: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s version for those of you lookin to add to the multimedia experience. Try to overlook the irony of the “What do women want?” Gillete (hetero) hairy belly guy ad that may be plugged into your version of the YouTube video.] 

1:21pm  Can’t get close to monitors to see vote! Crowd is building, getting louder and louder. [Here’s some audio of the crowd.]

1:07pm  Rotunda is singing “Lean on Me.” [Ed note: Here’s a link to a YouTube version, for those of you bold enough to try to listen to Bill Withers’ song in this context and not short out your keyboards with happy tears. Dare ya.]

SenateChamberMNStateCapitol-DaveWilsonPhotog12:55pm  Back in a limited capacity (outside cafeteria). Senators are debating the religious aspects of marriage and if religious officiants will be required to marry same-sex couples. Answer is no, of course. Stunning woman holding a giant sign with a red heart and inside it says, “After 25 years, will you marry me?” [Image at right courtesy DaveWilsonPhotography]

12:35pm  Senators are speaking. Unclear when the vote will be.

12:26pm  Hard to hear in here at the moment. Taking a moment to recharge phone (w/outlet) + 8 yr old (w/lunch)! Lunchtime question from Zeca: “But what if we don’t win?” A: “We are going to win. No doubt.” They wouldn’t have brought it to a vote if they didn’t know we could win.

12:15pm  Senator Dibble is now speaking. He will explain differences between house and senate bills.

12:14pm  It just started and they are taking a brief recess! I swallowed my gum rather than leave my post. Shit’s gettin’ real yo.

12:12pm  Secretary announcing the bill passed from the house.

12:08pm  Senate roll call.

12:07pm  They have convened. Chaplain opens the session with a prayer of course. Chit-chatting with a young gay guy about the separation of church and state as we watch the chaplain address the senate.

ArrivedatMNStateCapitol12:01pm  The senate is under call.

12:00pm  People pouring in now. So crowded! An entire school from Chaska is here. Senate is waiting to convene. Some entering chambers. So many older couples kissing.

11:43am  Equality people are offering beautiful cupcakes to the Vote No people, while everyone sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

11:43am  Priest approached Miguel and Miguel said, “Excuse me sir, but I have two moms and I’m proud of that.” The priest said, “I have a mom and a dad.” Miguel said, “And I respect that.” Priest said, “You have a dad too, you just don’t know him.” Miguel smiled and said, “I love my moms.” All the young queers started cheering.

11:38am  Elderly woman with a “One man+one woman” sign is smiling and chatting with a young man wearing a rainbow flag cape.

11:36am  Everyone now chanting “Vote for love!”

11:23am   Biggest crisis  yet? No TP in the women’s bathroom at the Capitol!

11:10am  Live reporter for Channel 5 is in an orange blazer. Orange is the equality color today. Miguel just ran into a pack of boys from his school. Hugs all around.

ontheirway11:02am  “America the Beautiful” has never sounded more beautiful than right now in this place with a sea of orange equality supporters.

11:00am  Spoke too soon! Pitch Perfect represents with “Lez Be Honest.”

10:58am  A priest is chanting “Jesus is lord” and the equality folks are all singing “Yes, Jesus loves me.” It’s like an equality choir in here. Now “Amazing Grace.” No Holly Near up in this joint yet. Ha.

10:52am  The rotunda is filled with voices chanting”Just vote yes.” My kids included!

10:39am [via Twitter] Kids’ favorite sign so far –”If God hates fags, why are we so cute?”

10:38am [via Twitter] We have arrived at the Capitol!

10:31am  On our way in the equality colors!

9:17am  Today is the Big day here. The kids and I are heading to the Capitol around 11. The vote is at 12. It’s going to pass. Rumor has it the flags near the Capitol have been replaced with rainbow flags. I can’t wait for my kids to see this.



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  1. Miguel is a genius.

    • I specifically told him not to engage with people with “NO” signs. Dude went rogue…as usual. He was incredibly respectful though so I’m not mad.

  2. Foxes on the Spot!

  3. Miguel is awesome! This is no surprise to me.

  4. OMG so.. nerve wrecking… I need a nap and I am just waiting to hear!!!

  5. I read and re-read the update about Miguel and the priest. Now I’ll read it again. Love that kid.

  6. Smells like Rotunda Spirit.

  7. It is so damn good reading all these updates from halfway across the world – fingers crossed for the impending vote, and thanks for the posts!

  8. I’m crying with joy. So happy for you and your family! Much love!!!!

  9. So?!? Have you set a date?? I need to clear my calendar.

  10. You’ve got me crying out here in Massachusetts. I remember how amazing it felt here in 2004. Reading your updates brings the emotions back. Watching the first couples coming out of Cambridge City Hall with marriage licenses just after midnight was an unbelievable sight. So happy for you and all of Minnesota!

  11. I can’t even tell you how happy I am for your family, and everyone else! EEEEEEEKKKK!

  12. You’ve brought me to tears. I’m moved beyond words by your words and the huge step that MN took today. Cheers to you, Luisa, and your beautiful children. Here’s to equality ::clinks glasses::

  13. I am so excited for you and your family and your state!!! I have goosebumps right now after reading your play by play!

  14. mazel tov. [grinning}

  15. Got a bit verklempt there. So happy for you!!! What a great experience for your kids as well. And there’s you rubbing elbows with the Mayor!

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