VIDEOS: Moving testimony and joyful celebration from Minnesota marriage victory

Yesterday, the Minnesota Senate approved the freedom to marry, making MN the 12th state in the country where same-sex couples can marry. Watch two moving speeches in support of marriage - and then relive the victory with these great videos:

Chief Author Sen. Dibble on Why Marriage Matters

Senator Scott Dibble, the chief author of the marriage bill, reflected on the journey that Minnesota has taken in the past two years, since the legislature advanced a ballot measure that proposed to amend the constitution to limit the freedom to marry. He said about the 2011 vote, "I felt excluded. Friends that I had in this chamber saw fit to cut me out of my own state's constitution. But my position didn't prevail, and a conversation with Minnesotans was launched. In an odd way, I'm kind of grateful, because we had an amazing conversation with Minnesotans, and we learned, as we always knew, that Minnesotans are good people."

He also spoke out about his personal connection to the bill. He said, "Today we have the awesome, humbling power to make dreams come true. What do we dream of as kids growing up? What do we all dream of when we start our lives? We dream of a good life, a happy home, falling in love with someone, sharing that life and loving family. And marriage says family like nothing else. I'm a lucky guy - and I met the person I can't live without. Richard and I have a love that I can't even begin to describe, and we have a loving and supportive family, and because of our marriage in California in 2008, our family had a transformation and formed a connection. They had been so supportive of us throughout, but through that celebration and that ritual, a connection and understanding to us came about that we didn't anticipate. But here in Minnesota, Richard and I are legal strangers to each other. How can that be OK?"

"For thousands of families, life will be better," he said. "We will be removing the barriers they have had to the full joys that life has to offer. And in so doing, we strengthen ourselves and we strengthen democracy. There's no limit to love - it's not going to be all used up. It only expands."   


Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk on the the Gay Pastor who Performed His Wedding Ceremony

Majority Leader Bakk also delivered testimony yesterday about a longtime friend, who is gay, who officiated at his own wedding. He said:

"Ray knows a lot about marriage. Married a lot of couples. Counseled a lot of couples through the highs that marriages have and some of the deep disappointments that sometimes happen in marriage relationships. He felt the excitement and could see the excitement in a couple's eyes as he married them. He felt the excitement in mine. Because in 1976 he married me. A few years later he came out as being gay and his employer in the church didn't treat him very well, and he had a very difficult ministerial career after that. Today he is retired and lives in Minneapolis. But something has always bothered me. That over the decades of his friendship with our family he participated in and shared in the joy of so many marriages but could never have one of his own." 


The Moment of Victory in Minnesota 

And here's the moment of victory! It's a short video, but it captures the energy: