- Minnesota's House passes a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage
- The bill must still pass the state Senate and go to the governor before it becomes law
- Its passage would make Minnesota the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage
Minnesota's House of Representatives passed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, putting the Midwestern state in line to become the 12th nationwide to take that step.
Rep. Karen Clark of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota sponsored the bill, which passed Thursday night by a vote of 75-59.
Supporters celebrated on the steps of the state capitol after the vote, chanting, "Thank you, thank you."
The bill will now go to the Senate, where local news reports say it is expected to pass. Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would sign it into law, according to local news website MinnPost.
On May 2, Rhode Island became the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Five days later, it was the turn of Delaware, which became the 11th state to sign same-sex marriage into law.
The same-sex marriage debate has polarized the United States.
In March, a divided Supreme Court heard arguments over the legality of two marriage laws -- the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.
The nine justices hinted at disparate views on the hot-button issue, and it was far from clear how they will rule. A decision is expected in June.
Other nations around the world are also grappling with the issue.
Among them is France, where lawmakers passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption last month despite vocal protests from conservatives. Opponents have filed a legal challenge and the bill has not yet been signed into law by the president.