Minnesota has become the third US state to pass equal marriage legislation in the past three weeks.
The state Senate passed the bill on May 13th, by 37 votes to 30. It was passed by the House of Representatives the previous week by 75 votes to 59. The state Governor supports the bill and will sign it into law on May 14th. Same sex marriage will be available in Minnesota from 1st August.
Minnesota is the third US state to introduce equal marriage in the past three weeks (following Rhode Island and Delaware). This brings the number of US states that will, by August, be celebrating same-sex marriages to 12. There is also legislation under consideration in the Illinois legislature, and the US Supreme Court is due to rule in June on whether to reinstate same-sex marriage in California.
April was also a good month for equal marriage, with bills passed in Uruguay, New Zealand and France.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales will return to the House of Commons for two days of debate on Monday and Tuesday May 20th and 21st, and will then go to the Lords.
We are anticipating that the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill will be introduced in the Scottish Parliament in the early summer.