Update: Marriage Equality Bill Passes Senate 37 to 30 (With Photos)

By KBJR News 1

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    Tim and Gary from Duluth have been together for 18 years and hope the bill passes so they can marry.

    (Kevin Jacobsen)

6 photos

May 13, 2013 Updated Jan 27, 2014 at 11:50 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Today's vote in St. Paul is one for the history books.

After over four hours of debate, the Senate passed the Marriage Equality bill 37 to 30.

Discussion over the bill was emotional at times with some opponents to the measure saying they are worried about losing marriage and family traditions. Senator Roger Reinert of Duluth got choked up during his speech to lawmakers to make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota.

Cheering and shouts of joy could be heard from outside the Senate chambers as lawmakers approved the measure that would allow for same-sex marriage.

For Tim Robinson and Gary Lundstrom of Duluth, the passage of this bill signals a new beginning in their 18-year relationship.

"Minnesota today is validating that marriage is equality and is meant for all. Today it's validating equality in marriage," says Lunstrom

The couple exchanged vows before moving from Denver to Duluth 16 years ago.

"We now have a family," says Robinson. "We have small children who call us daddy and dadda. Today marks an important part in history where that love is affirmed by the state."

The couple was one of thousands at the Capitol Monday celebrating the passage of the Gay Marriage bill.

Opposition also filled the Capitol grounds for one last ditch effort to make their voices heard.

"Children need a mom and dad which is what we're seeing here," says Joanne Foley of Minneapolis. "Children need a mom and dad because they are not interchangeable."

Foley says that state lawmakers did not listen to the voters.

"The voters in Minnesota at the marriage amendment, came out more than half of Minnesotans believe that it should be one man one woman."

It's a discussion that won't go away anytime soon even after the Governor signs it into law.

"History is going to tell our children we stood, we had a voice and we're here for change." says Robinson.

Tim and Gary say they plan to marry each other on August 1st at the Court House in Duluth.

The bill now heads to Governor Mark Dayton's desk where he says he will sign it as early as Tuesday evening.

Kevin Jacobsen
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