ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Within the 75 "yes" votes and 59 "no" votes that Representatives cast on the same sex marriage bill, there were a handful of very difficult decisions. Four Minnesota House Republicans broke party ranks supporting the measure and two House DFLers voted against the bill.
One of the Republicans many had wondered about was Rep. Jenifer Loon, the Deputy Minority Leader from Eden Prairie. "I have discovered over the past few months how incredibly popular I am," she said, speaking on the floor, before voting in favor of Rep. Karen Clark's same sex marriage proposal.
One of the 2 Democratic "no" votes came from Representative Mary Sawatzky, a freshman lawmaker from Willmar. "This is a tough one," she said while packing up her things. Her constituents voted overwhelmingly in support of last fall's amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman. "Tomorrow's another day and they're not going to like what I vote on tomorrow. I did what I was sent down here to do and that's represent people in Kandiyohi," she told KARE 11.
A couple of colleagues from her caucus offered hugs to Rep. Sawatzky before she left the floor.
DFL Representative Joe Radinovich from Crosby had a different reaction following the vote. He was saluted by a large and loud crowd of same sex marriage supporters. Radinovich voted yes on the measure despite support for traditional marriage in his district, following last fall's election. "Absolutely it was a tough vote. I think it's clear that rights in America belong to everybody," he said.
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