Minneapolis Representative and former Speaker Paul Thissen said good-bye to his colleagues on the Minnesota House floor Thursday afternoon, as he becomes a state Supreme Court justice after Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment earlier this week. Thissen says there are many moments he’s been reflecting on: “One in particular that of course stands out for me was the vote for marriage equality… was the one that I will remember most, just because of the dignity with [which] I think people handled themselves on the floor that day, and all the people that were here.”
Thissen’s voice cracked on that day in May 2013 when, as speaker, he announced the final vote as the House passed a bill to make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota. The Senate followed suit and Governor Mark Dayton signed the legislation into law, making Minnesota the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. It came after voters the previous November rejected a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, at the same time giving Democrats control of both the Minnesota House and Senate.