At a press conference Wednesday morning at the Minnesota State Capitol, lawmakers unveiled a long-expected bill which seeks to legalize gay marriage in the state.

Senator Scott Dibble was joined by Representatives Karen Clark and Steve Simon in introducing the measure.

Also making statements to the press were gay and lesbian couples raising children in Minnesota.

Senator Branden Petersen, the first Republican to co-sponsor the legislation, did not attend the conference due to a scheduling conflict.

The push for marriage equality in Minnesota resumed after Democrats regained control of the Legislature and voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment which sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union.

Dibble responded to the criticisms of opponents who have said that supporters are confusing opposition to a ban for an endorsement of marriage equality.

“You know, I'm not surprised they're saying that because that's about the only refuge they have to hide,” he said. “My sense is that public Minnesotans have come so far, so fast on this and the Legislature is ready to settle this question and simply move on.”

Clark called the amendment a “trial run.”

When asked whether he believes he has the votes needed to approve the legislation, Dibble said supporters were “close.”

He also criticized Republicans who controlled the Legislature last year for taking the amendment to the people.

“The Republican majority's crowning achievement in their legislative session last year was putting a divisive, hurtful amendment on the ballot on their way towards shutting down state government in steadfast refusal to work with their DFL minority colleagues and the governor. And that was overreach. And that was divisive. … This is about expanding through love and generosity the ability of all Minnesotans to participate in something that's very important.”