BY PATRICK CONDON AND BRIAN BAKST
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A pivotal vote Thursday in the Minnesota House positioned that state to become the 12th in the country to allow gay marriages and the first in the Midwest to pass such a law out of its Legislature.
The 75-59 vote was seen as the critical step for the measure, which would allow same-sex weddings beginning Aug. 1. It's a startling shift in the state, where just six months earlier voters surprisingly turned back an effort to ban them in the Minnesota Constitution.
The state Senate is expected to consider the bill Monday, and leaders expect it to pass there. Gov. Mark Dayton has pledged to sign it into law.