Rural DFL senator will vote to legalize same-sex marriage

A state senator from rural Minnesota says he intends to vote for a bill that legalizes same-sex marriage.

Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, has been considered a swing vote on the bill. A majority of voters in his district supported the unsuccessful constitutional amendment last year that would have banned same-sex marriage

Eken said he initially backed legislation that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples. But he said he decided to support legalizing same-sex marriage because public support for same- sex marriage is growing.

“It’s going to happen, and once it does it’s not going to be turned around,” Eken said. “I think as time goes on the acceptance is only going to grow.”

Groups in favor of legal same-sex marriage have been lobbying the Legislature to hold a vote on the bill this year.

DFL legislative leaders say they won’t bring the bill up until the House and Senate pass their budget bills.