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Gay marriage advocates to rally at Capitol

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Supporters of same-sex marriage plan to hold a Valentine's Day rally at the state Capitol Thursday in an effort to prod the Minnesota Legislature to pass a law that legalizes gay marriage in the state.

"I think we're on the brink of some historic opportunity," Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, told MPR. She plans to introduce a bill that would legalize gay marriage, as does Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis.

"People have been getting ready for a long time and I have a lot of faith in my colleagues," Clark told MPR. "The people of Minnesota spoke so strongly in this last election. So, I think, let's go."

Gay marriage is not legal in Minnesota. An effort by same-sex marriage opponents to permanently ban gay marriage by making a ban part of the state constitution was rejected by Minnesota voters in November.

Minnesotans United for All Families is hosting the 3 p.m. "Freedom to Marry Day" event and the group is expecting as many as 2,000, KSTP reported.

The leading group in opposition to gay marriage, Minnesota for Marriage, is planning its own event at the Capitol on March 7.

It's not yet clear how much support the issue has in the Legislature. "I think the promoters of same-sex marriage are overly ambitious," State Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, told MPR. He notes that it will be difficult for Democrats who represent rural areas to support the legislation.

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Gay marriage supporters rallying

St. Paul-area Lutherans assembling in Burnsville, and separately, Gov. Mark Dayton and other activists holding "house parties" around the state, demonstrated their opposition to an amendment to the state Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.