ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The leader of the campaign that defeated a gay marriage ban in Minnesota says the group will now push to legalize gay marriage in the legislative session that starts next month.

Richard Carlbom says he will continue to lead Minnesotans United for All Families. His statement is the first time the group has said it would push to legalize gay marriage so soon after voters rejected the ban in November’s election.

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Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would sign a bill to legalize gay marriage. But he and top Democrats have been reluctant to openly endorse a gay marriage push in 2013. They say filling a new state budget deficit is the greater priority.

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Gay marriage opponents have said they would fight any effort to legalize it.

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