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Joellen Barak of St. Charles called it a great day for Minnesota. “It will mean that I live in a state that appreciates diversity and equality,” she said.
Out on the Capitol steps, some opponents lingered, waving signs and praying together.
Nick Skrynnik of Plymouth held a sign reading, “Proud father of a God-approved family.”
“Once it becomes a law, it’ll be taught in schools. It’ll be forced on to my children, to make them believe that this is OK,” he said. “And me on the other hand, telling them this is not OK according to God’s word.”
Down in the Great Hall, the Rev. Pat Hall, an opponent of the bill and brother of state Sen. Dan Hall, said it had been his hope that a solution could be found that both sides would find acceptable.
“I think we are as divided now as we were during the Civil War,” he said.
For Ellen Rowell, though, the vote brought a sigh of relief.
Rowell has been raising a son in south Minneapolis with her lesbian partner of 15 years.
“We’ve lived our lives, we’ve raised our son, we’ve done PTA, basketball games, all these years, but we haven’t had a legal relationship,” Rowell said. “It’s just time.”
Staff writers Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Jennifer Brooks contributed to this report. Jim Ragsdale • 651-925-5042 Baird Helgeson • 651-925-5044