Crowd rallies at Capitol to oppose marriage amendment

Hundreds rally
Hundreds of people from across the state rallied in opposition of a proposed constitutional ban on marriage of same-sex couples during the OutFront Minnesota Lobby Day of Action at the Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Thursday, March 29, 2012.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

More than 1,000 opponents of a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage rallied outside the Capitol today.

Speakers included lawmakers, clergy, representatives of labor and immigrant groups, and a graduate of Blaine High School who talked about the bullying he endured for being gay.

Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced the governor and thanked him for supporting marriage equality.

"He speaks up on behalf of our kids, establishing an anti-bullying task force and he connects that vision to the greater vision for progress, freedom, opportunity because we are all part of the Minnesota family," Dibble said.

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Dayton told the crowd he'd had a dream that Minnesota became the first state to vote down a constitutional amendment against gay rights.

The amendment on the November ballot would define marriage as one man and one woman. Supporters of the constitutional amendment say it would ensure that courts or the Legislature can't legalize same-sex marriage.

Attendee Ashley Rantala, also the founder of Iron Range GLBTA in Hibbing, worries what a divisive campaign will mean for kids growing up gay in places like the Iron Range.

"The commercials are going to get so mean, like the climate. I know some students we've already talked to... I don't know, they're going to hear a lot of negative things, putting us down a lot and I don't want them to internalize that," Rantala said. "That's my worry."

MPR News Primer: The marriage amendment
Photos: OutFront Minnesota Lobby Day of Action