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Minnesota legislators ready to say 'yes' to gay marriage

| Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 9:12 p.m.

ST. PAUL — Minnesota appears poised to legalize gay marriage, as the Democratic speaker of the state House said Tuesday that a gay marriage bill endorsed by the governor and likely to pass in the state Senate now has enough backing in his chamber.

The House will vote on the measure on Thursday, and if it passes, the Democratic-led Senate could vote on it as soon as Saturday.

House Speaker Paul Thissen of Minneapolis said that the 73-member Democratic majority will produce at least the 68 votes needed for passage. Senate leaders are confident of passage, and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to sign the bill, which would allow gay couples to marry as of Aug. 1.

If the bill passes, it would mark an about-face on the issue in Minnesota, where only six months ago voters were asked whether they wanted to enshrine the current gay marriage ban in the state constitution. They didn't.

No House Republicans have committed to vote for the bill.

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