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On Valentine's Day, Hundreds Pressured Lawmakers To Legalize Gay Marriage

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Thursday's rally at the State Capital was organized by the same group that successfully defeated the gay marriage ban in November.

Minnesota United has now pivoted to lobbying for legalized gay marriage in Minnesota.

More than 1,000 people jammed the rotunda on Thursday, pressuring lawmakers to legalize gay marriage.

State Senator Scott Dibble legally married his partner in California five years ago. But in Minnesota, they don't have the same rights.

"We are legal strangers to each other here in Minnesota," he said. "That makes no sense at all. People's lives are affected in very dramatic ways every day."

Dibble believes Minnesotans said "yes" to gay marriage by rejecting the gay marriage ban in November.

Not so, said the author of that constitutional amendment.

"Now we're talking same sex marriage bills in the Minnesota legislature?" said State Senator Warren Limmer. "And the question I have, is 'Is this really what Minnesotans voted on in November?"

Meanwhile, gay marriage opponents brought a bi-sexual Latino raised by California lesbians to Minnesota, who said being a child gay parents scarred him for life.

"If I were to get into a life-long relationship with a man, I would want people to be able to respect and honor that," Lopez said. "But the right of a child to have a mom and a dad is far more important."

Gay and straight couples lined the Capitol hallways, and it wasn't that long ago people thought that legal gay marriage in Minnesota was not politically possible.

But since the gay marriage ban was defeated last November, Democratic leaders, including Gov. Mark Dayton, have voiced public support for gay marriage.

Expect a bill to be introduced in the next couple of weeks, and possibly a vote later this year.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO's Chris Simon Reports

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