Posted at: 02/14/2013 10:41 PM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 10:46 PM
By: John Doetkott
(ABC 6 News) -- This fall Minnesotans defeated an amendment that would have defined marriage as between a man and woman.
And on Thursday gay rights supporters, including those from southeastern Minnesota, gathered to say they want to use that momentum to go one step further.
A fired up crowd estimated at more than a thousand jammed into the State Capitol rotunda.
In part, they were there to celebrate Minnesota being the first state to defeat an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.
“Thirty times that happened and 30 times it passed,” Rev. Grant Stevenson of Minnesotans United announced before the raucous crowd. “But not 31!”
But now they want more.
Senator Scott Dibble plans to introduce legislation that would legalize gay marriage and recognize his marriage to Richard whom he married in California four years ago. Sen. Dibble asked supporters to start lobbying their lawmakers now.
“It’s time to start a conversation and build a relationship with your legislator,” Sen. Dibble said. “Show them how much this matters.”
Opponents from Minnesota for Marriage brought in a unique spokesperson of their own: a bi-sexual college professor from California who was raised by lesbian parents and says he paid a price for it.
“I would never put another child in that situation unless it was absolutely necessary,” Bobby Lopez said. “Because for me there was no father figure around and that just took a drastic toll on me.”
On Thursday the Illinois senate voted to legalize gay marriage. If it passes the democratically controlled house the governor says he'll sign it, which would make Illinois the 10th state where gay marriage is legal.