Democratic Minnesota Governor Mark
Dayton on Thursday reiterated his support for gay marriage, NBC
affiliate KARE 11 reported.
Dayton made his remarks at gay rights
group Outfront Minnesota's annual rally, which attracted about 1,000
“I'm here to support those
Minnesotans and Americans who want the same rights, freedoms,
opportunity, respect, dignity and legal protections and legal
opportunities as every other one of their fellow citizens,” Dayton
said. “Which is the founding principal of this country.”
Dayton becomes the first sitting
governor to address the crowd. Former Governor Tim Pawlenty opposes
gay rights, and, as a possible GOP candidate for president, he's
called for the reinstatement of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993
law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.
The Minnesota Legislature has twice
passed on approving a resolution – sponsored
by U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann – that sought to place
a gay marriage ban in the Minnesota Constitution.
Hopes that lawmakers would legalize gay
marriage this year were dashed on November 2 when Republicans took
control of both chambers of the Legislature.
Dayton told supporters at the rally
that he would block anti-gay rights initiatives.