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State Net Capitol Journal: Gay Marriage Battle Begins in Minnesota

Emboldened by Minnesota voters' simultaneous rejection of a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex unions and termination of GOP control of both houses of the Legislature in November, a pair of DFL lawmakers have introduced legislation seeking to overturn the state's statutory ban on same-sex marriage.

"This is a day that Minnesotans should be very proud of," said Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL), co-sponsor of the bill (HB 1054/SB 925), along with Rep. Karen Clark (DFL).

But opponents of that effort say it is out of sync with the values of Minnesotans, particularly those in rural areas who voted solidly in favor of the constitutional ban.

"It's a huge mistake to believe the lie that the results of the November election was a mandate to legalize gay marriage," said John Helmberger, chairman of Minnesota for Marriage.

The brewing battle will place the state at the center of the shifting national debate on the issue following the first-ever election wins for same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota in November. The National Organization for Marriage has pledged $500,000 to defeat any Republican legislator in Minnesota who votes to legalize same-sex marriage, while 200 of the nation's largest corporations have publicly indicated their support for such unions. (MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, STATE NET)

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