Governor Dayton gives remarks at Minneapolis City Hall on the eve of Freedom to Marry Day
Governor Mark Dayton issued a proclamation designating August 1, 2013, to be ‘Freedom to Marry Day’ in Minnesota.
"On May 14, 2013, I was honored and proud to sign the Freedom to Marry bill into law on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol. On August 1, 2013, same-sex couples shall be free to marry in the State of Minnesota, and this event will be celebrated at the stroke of midnight with marriages across our great state" said Governor Dayton.
"Our nation’s founding principle was stated more than 237 years ago in the Declaration of Independence: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.'
That principle was later embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: 'No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'
These deeply held American ideals of liberty and justice must assuredly protect the freedom for every person to marry the person they love.
Throughout its history, some of our country’s most important progress has been to extend equal rights and protections to everyone. And while that progress has often been difficult and initially divisive, it has always been the next step forward to fulfilling our country’s promise to every American."
Credit: KSTP TV, Naomi Pescovitz
Fort Snelling has one of the few cemeteries for veterans in Minnesota.
Minnesota veterans lack options for their final resting places. This past legislative session, Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature provided new funding for another state veteran’s cemetery in southeastern Minnesota.
Currently, southeastern Minnesota veterans only have access to the Fort Snelling or Little Falls cemetery sites, both of which are at least two hours away. The lack of nearby options leads many families to bury their loved ones at private cemeteries or churches. Historic Fort Snelling has more than 180,000 internments and will likely reach capacity in the next 50 years, meaning Minnesota needs additional space for veterans soon.
The funding will allow a new cemetery to open during the winter of 2015. Generously, Fillmore County has donated 153 acres for the cemetery – reducing the cost to Minnesota taxpayers. The new site will provide space for more than 50,000 veterans. And there’s definitely a need for the space. Right now, there are over 39,000 veterans within a 75-mile radius of Preston, Minnesota.
The new site also will help businesses in the area, creating new jobs, while honoring veterans. As visitors come to pay their respects, many businesses – such as restaurants, floral shops and hotels – will be able to attract new customers and guests.
Governor Dayton remains committed to supporting veterans now and in the future. And this new cemetery site will help us remember and honor the sacrifices that American’s armed forces make for all of us.