Reporting Pat Kessler
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Hundreds of people were at the State Capitol Thursday rallying against plans to legalize same sex marriage in Minnesota.
Last year, Minnesota citizens voted no on putting a gay marriage ban in the Constitution and the rally today was to pressure lawmakers against taking the next step: Legalizing same sex marriage.
Hundreds attended the heavily religious rally, some carrying signs that said “legalizing homosexuality will ‘induce’ children to gay relationships.”
The leader of the nation’s largest anti-gay marriage group said gay marriage opponents were outspent in the last election, but vowed to continue the political fight.
“Proponents of same sex marriage want us to believe that this is inevitable, that this is going to come no matter what we do, so we might as well pack it up and go back to our homes and stop fighting. We will never stop fighting for the truth,” said Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage.
Gay marriage opponents do have public opinion on their side.
This week, a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll this week showed 53 percent of those polled want the state statute banning same-sex unions to stay in place. 38-percent want the state legislature to overturn the law this year. 9 percent are undecided.
A bill legalizing same sex marriage was introduced last week and even though a majority of the public might be against it, state lawmakers may not be.
According to an Associated Press survey of lawmakers, there are enough votes in legislative committees to pass gay marriage bills out of committee and on to the floors of the House and Senate for debate.
Hearings on same sex marriage bills are expected within the next week, but votes by the House and Senate won’t come until much later.
Democratic leaders say that’s because they want to keep the state budget as their central focus. So, there won’t be any gay marriage vote until the budget problems are resolved.