Rainbow flags are being flown in St Paul, Minnesota ahead of today’s Senate vote on equal marriage, and the city’s mayor has renamed a bridge Freedom to Marry Bridge, in support of the measure.

Mayor Chris Coleman tweeted in favour of the measure passing in the house last week, and today that he had renamed the Wabasha Bridge in support of passing equal marriage.

Advocates of the measure hope that the state will become the twelfth in the country to legalise equal marriage, as the Senate, where Democrats hold a 39-28 majority, is gearing up for a vote on the bill.

Leaders in the Senate have already said they had already gathered enough votes to pass the bill.

If the bill passes in the Senate on Monday, Democratic Governor Mark Dayton could sign it into law as early as this week, and same-sex weddings could begin to take place in August.

The House of Representatives in the US state of Minnesota passed the bill to legalise equal marriage on Thursday, with a clear majority in favour.

The final vote was 75 to 59, following a two-hour debate around the issue. It will now move to the Senate, which will take up the issue on Monday.

Among the opposition was Republican Representative Peggy Scott, who said she was brought to tears by the prospect of same-sex couples being allowed to marry. 

Leading up to the vote, thousands of supporters and opponents of equal marriage gathered outside the House. During the debate, opponents to the measure argued that it was “not the time” for the measure, but its proponents denied they were “destroying” marriage, and said they were to “uphold it for all”.

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. 

A group opposed to equal marriage in the state has pledged half a million dollars to defeat any Republican legislator voting to legalise marriage equality.

On 6 November, voters in Minnesota voted ‘no’ on Amendment 1, a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as being a union solely between a man and a woman.