A Republican from Minnesota’s House of Representatives was reported to be brought to tears by the progress of a bill that may see her state become the 12th in the US to legalise same-sex marriage.
Among the opposition was Republican Representative Peggy Scott.
She spoke to press from the Star Tribune after the vote. They reported:
“My heart breaks for Minnesota,” said a Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover.
“It’s a divisive issue that divides our state,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes as she stood on the House floor after the vote. “It’s not what we needed to be doing at this time. We want to come together for the state of Minnesota, we don’t want to divide it.”
Other Representatives kept their emotions in check, but had passionate comments to make on the bill.
Republican Glenn Gruenhagen said he opposed the bill because it would lead to students learning about same-sex relationships in sex education classes.
“Thinks about what’s best for the children,” Mr Gruenhagen urged lawmakers. “Please vote for the children.”
The bill also had staunch defenders. Democrat Tim Faust spoke of his decision to vote in favour of same-sex marriage: “In this State there are people who feel that way about each other, that cannot live without that other person, that feel the same way about each other that I do about my wife. Yet because of the religious beliefs of other people they do not have the right [to get married] that I have taken for granted.”
If the bill passes in the Senate on Monday, Democratic Governor Mark Dayton could sign it into law as early as next week, and same-sex weddings could begin to take place in August.
Leaders in the Senate have also said they had gathered enough votes to pass the bill.
In November 2012, Minnesotan voters avoided a constitutional ban on marriage equality, and pro-equality campaigners have since stepped up efforts to push for equal marriage to be legalised.