The group that defeated the marriage amendment last month is reforming to persuade legislators to legalize same-sex marriage.

“Our intention is to make sure gay and lesbian couples have the freedom to marry after the 2013 legislative session,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families.

Minnesotans United, which raised millions of dollars and united tens of thousands of volunteers, is in the early stages of converting from a statewide campaign into a Capitol lobbying effort. The group plans to continue to urge supporters to have conversations around the state about the need to legalize same-sex marriage.

“It’s going to continue to be a massive grassroots campaign,” Carlbom said.

Minnesota for Marriage, the group that unsuccessfully pushed the amendment, plans to work just has hard to persuade legislators to not redefine marriage. They note that a majority of voters in most counties voted to pass the measure, which would have added a same-sex marriage ban into the state Constitution.

Minnesota for Marriage met with supporters this week to plan their effort and have already embarked on a massive fundraising effort.

“We anticipate that the Legislature will move to redefine marriage, most likely this year, which is one principal reason why Minnesota needed a marriage amendment,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Adkins and other same-sex marriage opponents warn that new Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate risk alienating Minnesota voters if they press the marriage issue.

“The new DFL majorities will burn enormous political capital ending the conversation and imposing same-sex marriage,” Adkins said. “It could undermine the rest of their legislative goals.”

Democratic legislative leaders have so far not embraced plans to change the definition of marriage this session. They say the focus will be on wiping out a $1.1 billion budget deficit, overhauling the tax system and stabilizing education funding.

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