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Gay Marriage Debate Far From Over

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota’s election is one for the record books.

Preliminary estimates show 76 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot this year. That’s not quite a record, but the total number of voters is.

Here are the results:

– Democrats took control of the Capitol.

– One Republican congressman, Chip Cravaack, was unseated while another, Michele Bachmann, narrowly kept her job.

– And voters defeated both the voter ID and marriage amendments.

Indeed, the most talked about, expensive and historic vote was the marriage amendment, which for the first time in any state did not receive enough votes to pass.

Fifty-one percent of voters voted against putting a measure in the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. That number had the Vote No crowd gathered at St. Paul’s RiverCentre dancing, hugging and crying Tuesday night.

The victory for Vote No doesn’t change the fact that state law already bans same-sex marriage. It’ll take lawmakers or the courts to change that — something both sides are now gearing up to watch.

“The time has come to have some courage and stand up for your constituents,” said DFL State Sen. Scott Dibble.

After millions of dollars were raised, hundreds of volunteers were mobilized, politicians are now on hand to talk about what’s next.

“We can pass what we need to pass for our families in the next session,” said DFL State Rep. Karen Clark.

A Wednesday night rally of Vote No supporters turned attention to the newly elected DFL Legislature, and the established DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

“We want marriage, that’s next,” said Laura Olmstead. “We’ve pledged our lives to each other, we’ve planned our family and our forever; and we’d like our state to recognize it.”

Chuck Darrel, the communications director for Minnesota for Marriage (Vote Yes), says his side will be watching to keep traditional marriage.

“Our key coalition leaders will need to sit down over the next few weeks to determine what’s next,” he said. “We will need to fight the state Legislature if they try to make gay marriage legal.”

When we checked online forums, like Facebook, we saw a number of people saying they voted no only because a law was already in place banning gay marriage. That means those hoping for gay marriage may have a bigger battle convincing lawmakers at the Capitol who have to answer to their constituents.

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