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KIMT NEWS 3 — It has been an emotional couple of months.
“Lots of hard gulps and lots of tears, just lots of excitement,” said Kirsten Lindbloom.
And for some, a victory.
“I’m so excited and at the same time I know there’s a side that feels a loss today and that’s the nature of anything this divisive,” Lindbloom said.
Lindbloom is the advisor for the Riverland Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). She said it is a great time for the organization, but also for her personally. She and her partner held a commitment ceremony five years ago so she is excited to have the legal piece of the puzzle in place.
“We’re talking early, so we will be quick to get that marriage license and it’ll be early August. I think for us we’re going to be doing something along the lines of an anniversary party,” Lindbloom said.
She was one of many supporters to make their way to the state capitol Monday, and for some like State Sen. Dan Sparks, (DFL) Austin, it was something that he has never seen before.
“There was more people here than any other event that I’ve been a part of and obviously from the debate on the floor we know that this is a very emotional issue and I have good friends on both sides of the issue so it was a difficult day,” Sparks said.
His difficult decision turned into a no vote. He said that was because his job is to reflect what the people in his district are asking for.
“I had many sleepless nights over this vote, we heard from hundreds of people from back home and I just chose at the end not to make it a personal vote and the vote that I took [Monday] was on behalf of the senate district, which last November over 60 percent voted in favor of traditional marriage,” Sparks said.
Supporters of same-sex marriage like Lindbloom said there are no hard feelings.
“We recognize that this is hard decisions for people and that people have to make decisions based on what they believe. I know that Dan believes that he was speaking on behalf of the people and I can’t fault him for that,” Lindbloom said.
She said even though the new laws passed, there is still work to be done.
“Because this has occurred education will still need to continue, we’re going to have to surf this out. Paperwork’s going to have to change, entities are going to have to look at this differently, reconstruct language, there’s going to be a lot of work,” Lindbloom said.
She said this day came sooner than she thought it would. She said there was something amazing about being at the capitol Monday and observing the senators work while witnessing the roars of the crowds who were there in support of what was going to happen.
As for Sparks, he said Monday’s vote was by far the toughest one he has had to make.
He said he is ready to see where things go from here as the 12th state allowing same-sex marriage.