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Willmar, Minn., residents react to law authorizing same-sex marriage

WILLMAR -- With gay marriage now legal in the state of Minnesota, several Willmar residents offered their opinions on the new law Tuesday.

Teresa Johnson said she was still undecided on whether she supports the law that authorizes marriage between two persons, regardless of gender.

"I think gay people should be allowed some type of commitment that's recognized by the state, but the Bible says marriage is between a man and a woman," Johnson said. "I'm just not sure this was the right way to go."

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the legislation Tuesday evening. It passed the Senate on Monday, and the House had approved it last week.

Dan Herman said he never cared whether the bill passed, as he was more interested in the political aspect.

"It's a historic moment for the state, so it's been interesting to watch for the last year," Herman said.

Six months ago, Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage. At the same time, voters elected a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, propelling the gay marriage law forward.

"I support the gay marriage law and am glad it passed," Jenny Bass said. "I'm proud to be from a state that supports equality. My generation definitely supports gay marriage, so it's exciting to see our state legislators support it too."

Also part of the younger generation supporting the law is Ellie Green. Green said that, while she's typically conservative, the issue of gay marriage is personal.

"My uncle is gay, and he and his partner had a commitment ceremony this past December," Green said. "Now they can finally get legally married at home."

On the other hand is Caleb Paulsen -- a college student who says the economic aspect is stopping him from supporting the new law.

"I worry there could be costs attached that could hurt the state," Paulsen said.

Mary Lou Logan said she is against gay marriage, mainly because it's what she has always believed.

"Marriage is supposed to be only for a man and a woman," Logan said. "At my age, it's hard to change your beliefs. Sixty years ago, this was something that never would have crossed our minds, and it's just hard to change the way you've thought your entire life."

Katherine McElroy echoed what Logan said, adding that religion played a part in her beliefs too.

"I was born and raised Catholic, so I've always been taught marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman," McElroy said.