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 participants.

“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.