Dayton signs gay marriage bill into law

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Governor Mark Dayton's signature on a bill Tuesday evening made Minnesota the 12th state in the country to legally recognize same sex marriages.

Dayton signed the bill in an outdoor ceremony in front of the Capitol, saying the measure brings liberty to all Minnesotans. Some supporters chanted "Thank you" as lawmakers and other dignitaries looked on.

The action capped a long debate in Minnesota over same-sex marriage, and followed historic House and Senate votes.

Supporters of the new law planned to celebrate through the evening with party and outdoor concert in downtown St. Paul after the signing.

MPR reports opponents of same sex marriage were planning a candlelight prayer vigil at the St. Paul Cathedral in protest to the celebration.

Minneapolis city officials announced city hall will be open at midnight to host weddings on the first day same sex marriages are legal, which is expected to be August 1st.

The ceremony was the culmination of a long road for the sponsors of the legislation, Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Karen Clark, both Minneapolis DFLers. The Associated Press reports Clark, 67, grew up on a farm in Rock County. The law will allow her to marry her partner of 24 years in the only state where she has lived. Dibble, 47, got his start in politics managing one of Clark's re-election campaigns.

Some legislators are taking heat from their constituents for voting in favor of the gay marriage bill. The Star Tribune reports two Crow Wing County DFLers are already the subject of recall petitions in their districts.

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