Minnesota governor issues proclamation in recognition of state's new same-sex marriage law

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August 6, 2013

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

By Greg Janetka

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota: At 12:01 a.m. on August 1, Minnesota officially became the 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage. In recognition, Gov. Mark Dayton (D) issued a proclamation declaring August 1 "Freedom to Marry Day" in the state.[1]

The new law authorizes the state to recognize marriage and divorce of two persons, rather than being specific to one male and one female. Exemptions are provided for churches and other religious associations from providing goods or services related to same-sex ceremonies. The bill was introduced in the legislature six months after voters defeated a constitutional amendment last November that would have defined marriage in the state constitution as being between one man and one woman.[2][3]

The governor's proclamation is as follows:[4]

WHEREAS: Our nation’s founding principle was stated more than 237 years ago in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness;” and

WHEREAS: That principle was later embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: “No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws;” and

WHEREAS: These deeply held American ideals of liberty and justice must assuredly protect the freedom for every person to marry the person they love; and

WHEREAS: Throughout its history, some of our country’s most important progress has been to extend equal rights and protections to everyone. And while that progress has often been difficult and initially divisive, it has always been the next step forward to fulfilling our country’s promise to every American; and

WHEREAS: On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, I was honored and proud to sign the Freedom to Marry bill into law on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol; and

WHEREAS: On Thursday, August 1, 2013, same-sex couples shall be free to marry in the State of Minnesota, and this event will be celebrated at the stroke of midnight with marriages across our great state.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MARK DAYTON, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim Thursday, August 1, 2013, as: FREEDOM TO MARRY DAY in the State of Minnesota.

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