ST. PAUL -- In a week that has all but blended together, the marriage debate has moved quickly from vote, to rally, to new strategy.
At least one Democratic lawmaker promises to push legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. But other lawmakers are urging the legislature to move forward only cautiously.
"We need to pause for just a minute. This is a huge, huge election and tremendous outcome," said DFL Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis.
Dibble said it's important for lawmakers to consider the larger community when they plan their next step. But he believes that if the time is right, he'll work with other interested leaders -- including Sen. John Marty of Roseville -- to move the issue forward.
"I suspect I will be the chief author of something that actually does emerge though," he said, adding, "I think it's always a bit of a problem when political leaders sitting in the capitol get out ahead of where the larger community is. So engaging the community, having a discussion, what exactly we should proceed with and what timeline and how -- that's just really important."
But the idea that the issue is moving forward -- however cordially -- is exactly what the other side predicted.
"This is what we were warning against all along," said Autumn Leva with Minnesota for Marriage.
Leva said the network of allies formed to fight for the amendment will continue to weigh in on the conversation. She said the Minnesota Catholic Conference, Minnesota Family Council and thousands of churches and volunteers will determine how best to prevent legalization of same-sex marriage.
"There's already allies built, and we don't want those relationships to go to waste by any means," she said, adding that the efforts will likely include, "lobbying, looking for those leaders in politics who will stand up for traditional marriage, any form of the above -- public education."
Meantime, not all Democratic lawmakers are on the same page when it comes to pushing social issues. On Wednesday, the new Democratic leaders said they plan to prioritize budget and economic issues.
"Anybody that has policy ideas need to find a way to put them on the back shelf right now. The state has serious financial challenges, going back to 2002. We've never resolved the state's structural budget challenges," said the newly elected Senate Majority Leader, Tom Bakk.
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