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Minnesota Appears On The Verge Of Legalizing Gay Marriage

AP Photo / Jim Mone

"Thursday's vote in the Minnesota House of Representatives will be a historic victory for thousands of same-sex couples and families in our state," Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United For All Families, said in a statement Tuesday. "We are confident that the necessary votes to extend the freedom to marry for same-sex couples have been secured and that HF1054 will pass the House floor."

Minnesota would be the 11th state in the nation to legalize gay marriage should the bill pass the Democrat-controlled House and Senate. Senate leaders say they have the votes needed to pass a bill, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) has already said he would sign it if it reaches his desk.

"We're still having conversations, but I think we have the votes," House Speaker Paul Thissen (DFL) told the Pioneer Press. "This hasn't been something we've been twisting peoples' arms on. It's about talking to people, hearing from constituents and those undecided legislators ultimately listening to their hearts."

A spokeswoman for Minnesota For Marriage, the leading opponent of the bill, did not immediately return requests for comment.

The bill's passage would represent a decisive swing towards equality for a state that just last year hosted a hard-fought campaign over a referendum that would have amended the state's constitution to ban same sex marriage. Voters narrowly defeated the measure, which garnered about 48 percent of the vote, while three other states passed referendums legalizing same sex marriage the same night.

This post has been updated.

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