Last night, as you know already, we in Minnesota became the first state to successfully vote down an anti-gay-marriage ballot amendment at the polls. (We also voted for Barack Obama and Amy Klobuchar, but both of those were widely predicted and thus a little less exciting. Ousting one-term Congressman Chip Cravaack (R-Doofus) was more of a charge, and we also got thisclose (alas!) to bouncing Michele Bachmann.)
But indications today are that gay rights took an even bigger step in this state last night than just the "FU Homophobes" result on the marriage ballot question. We might not have to be jealous of those fabulous celebrants in Maine, Maryland, and Washington State (to say nothing of Massachusetts, Connecticut, our neighbor Iowa, and several others) for too much longer....
As has been reported elsewhere (such as in this diary by Kossack mspman), last night Minnesotans also handed the state Democratic Farmer Labor ("DFL") Party big and surprising majorities in both houses of the Minnesota Legislature. Throw in popular Governor Mark Dayton, and the DFL now controls two of the three branches of state government. (The supreme court, alas, has a 4-3 majority of craven right-wing appointees of former Governor Tim Pawlenty.)
The big talk around the Twin Cities this morning is that the combination of the Vote No victory on the marriage amendment--making it clear where Minnesotans stand on this civil-rights movement of our time--and the DFL wave in the state elections will lead to the Legislature passing, and Dayton signing, a full marriage-equality law sometime this session!
On Minnesota Public Radio this morning, (politely gloating) former State Senator Ellen Anderson (DFL-St. Paul) and (glum) former State Representative Marty Seifert (R-Marshall) told MPR's Morning Edition host that chances are extremely good that the DFL legislature will send Dayton a bill establishing marriage equality before the session is out.
I talked to two other recently-retired legislators (one DFL, one R) this morning, and both told me that they think Anderson and Seifert are right.
So look out, world: Iowa may not be the only Midwestern state proudly standing for equal rights for very long!