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HINCKLEY, Minn. - A sparse crowd turned out in the Tobie's restaurant parking lot to hear speakers call on state legislators to vote "no" on gay marriage in Minnesota. It was the first of 10 planned rallies by the Minnesota for Marriage group.

"A man and a woman join together for the procreation of children. Anything other than that is clearly not what God intended," said Pastor Steve Anderson, Saint Stephan's Lutheran Church of Braham.

Only about 3 dozen attended the 7p.m. gathering in cold temperatures with some snow falling. The Great Adventure band of Braham offered hymns and patriotic songs before featured speaker Glenn Stanton of the Colorado-based Focus on the Family group.

"We are told by the opposition and oh, your pastor is not going to have to marry same sex couples. You know what, we'll try to take your word on that, but don't blame us if we don't completely believe you," said Stanton. "The support that is out there supposedly growing for same sex marriage is razor thin, because it is built on soundbites."

A small group of local residents assembled silently across the pavement. They held signs reading "God loves Gays". There was no confrontation between the opposing groups.

State Representative Tim Faust of Hinckley told the crowd that he was not entirely sure why he was speaking to them since he had not decided yet how to vote on the gay marriage bills moving through the legislature.

"I will always, always give you the opportunity to convince me that you're right. Always. and the problem is that I also will give the other side the opportunity to convince me that they're right too. It goes both ways," said Faust.

He invited those assembled to write and call him with their opinions.

Minnesota for Marriage plans rallies in a number of Minnesota cities in coming weeks, including Hermantown, Brainerd and Detroit Lakes.

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