Thousands of people gathered outside the Minnesota State House yesterday to watch Gov. Markeditorial
Dayton sign his state's freshly passed marriage equality bill into law.
"Our country's most important progress has been to extend those equal rights and protections to everyone. That progress has often been difficult, controversial and initially divisive [but] it has always been the next step ahead to fulfilling this country's promise to every American," he said yesterday during a ceremony snapped and shared within seconds. And for good reason! Who doesn't love a good equality money shot?
We'll either see many more scenes like this or very few. It all depends on how the Supreme Court rules this summer. If they make marriage equality the law of the land, then there will be no need for such events. If, however, the Justices decide to let states keep plugging away at it, as many observers predict, then we'll likely see many, many more governors signing marriage equality into law.
Either way, in honor of Minnesota's big moment, here are all the pictures of governors, and one mayor, signing marriage equality into law. Keep in mind not all of the states where marriage equality has passed required gubernatorial signatures. Mitt Romney certainly didn't celebrate when his state's Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that the state can't segregate marital rights, and Vermont's governor at the time of that state's win, Jim Douglas, vetoed the bill. That veto was in turn overturned by lawmakers, meaning Douglas never had a pro-gay photo-op. Not that he would have smiled, anyway. No signatures were required, or at least trumpeted, in Iowa or Connecticut either.
MINNESOTA, GOV. MARK DAYTON, 2013:
DELAWARE, GOV. JACK MARKELL 2013:
RHODE ISLAND, GOV. LINCOLN CHAFFEE, 2013:
MARYLAND, GOV. MARTIN O'MALLEY, 2012:
WASHINGTON STATE, GOV. CHRISTINE GREGOIRE, 2012:
NEW YORK, GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, 2011:
NEW HAMPSHIRE, GOV. JOHN LYNCH, 2009:
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MAYOR ADRIAN FENTY, 2009:
MAINE, GOV. JOHN BALDACCI, 2009:
(Note: This was the first law legalizing marriage equality in Maine. It was eventually repealed by voters. The newer, more permanent law was put into the books after a vote last election. Republican Gov. Paul LePage did not celebrate the news.)
MASSACHUSETTS, GOV. DEVAL PATRICK, 2008:
(Note: This is Patrick signing a law allowing out-of-state couples to take advantage of Minnesota's already existing same-sex marriage law, which began in 2004 after a state Supreme Court decision.)