Gay marriage advocates, fresh from winning a fight over a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex unions, is already planning for what they say is the next logical step in Minnesota.
The defeated amendment would have created a permanent same-sex marriage ban. But state law still does not allow for gay marriage. Activists aim to change that, WCCO and the Associated Press report.
A few hundred opponents of the ban gathered at the state Capitol for a rally Wednesday night, the Associated Press reported.
Speeches at the rally dwelled more on their Tuesday victory than what lies ahead, but legalizing gay marriage was clearly on the minds of those in the crowd, the AP said. State Rep. Karen Clark, the Legislature's longest-serving openly gay member, said activists would meet for a Dec. 1 summit to strategize next steps.
It was not clear whether there would be an appetite in the new DFL-controlled Legislature for another bruising fight over gay marriage right away. At a press conference Wednesday, the state's DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and top legislative leaders said they're in no hurry to pursue the issue.
But some say the time is right now that Democrats control the Capitol, led by a DFL governor. Democratic Sen. John Marty says he’d push for a gay marriage law immediately, WCCO reports. Marty said gay couples have waited long enough.
Gay marriage opponents vow they will fight such an effort.
The battle is also playing out on a national stage. Before Tuesday, gay marriage foes had won votes limiting gay marriage rights 30 times in a row, with no losses. That ended in spectacular fashion on Tuesday, when gay marriage activists won the four fights on ballots this year in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and, it appears, Washington, the Associated Press reports.
It was perhaps a historic tipping point that could affect other states and even the Supreme Court, the AP notes. USA Today columnist Amanda Marcotte says the votes on gay marriage suggest the Republican Party has lost the culture war.
But opponents of gay marriage say it was not a tipping point. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, said it was just a disappointing evening, but not indicative of a shift in public opinion. "Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states. Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it."