For Minn. gay marriage sponsors, it's personal

PATRICK CONDON
FILE - In this May 9, 2013 file photo, gay marriage sponsors Rep. Karen Clark, right, and Sen. Scott Dibble celebrate after the Minnesota House passed the gay marriage bill in St. Paul, Minn. The two openly gay  Minnesota state lawmakers, who respectively sponsored the measure in the state House and Senate, prepared to watch Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton sign the bill in a ceremony Tuesday, May 14, 2013, on the front steps of Minnesota’s Capitol. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
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FILE - In this May 9, 2013 file photo, gay marriage sponsors Rep. Karen Clark, right, and Sen. Scott Dibble celebrate after the Minnesota House passed the gay marriage bill in St. Paul, Minn. The two openly gay Minnesota state lawmakers, who respectively sponsored the measure in the state House and Senate, prepared to watch Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton sign the bill in a ceremony Tuesday, May 14, 2013, on the front steps of Minnesota’s Capitol. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — When Gov. Mark Dayton adds his signature to the bill legalizing gay marriage in Minnesota, its two main sponsors will stand triumphantly beside him,

Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Scott Dibble will be admiring the fruits of their long and often demoralizing struggle for gay rights.

Both Minneapolis Democrats are gay, and Tuesday's signing ceremony on the state Capitol's front steps will allow Clark to marry her partner of 24 years in the only state where she's ever lived.

Dayton's signing of the bill will make Minneapolis the 12th state to legalize gay marriage and the first Midwestern state to do so by a legislative vote.