Gov. Mark Dayton is intensifying pressure on legislators to legalize same-sex marriage this year.
The governor’s campaign sent out an appeal to supporters Wednesday urging them to contact their legislators and press them to support a measure that could be days away from a vote to legalize same-sex marriage.
“I believe all of us should have the freedom to marry legally the person we love,” Dayton says in the note. “But our opponents won’t let go. They’re targeting legislators with harsh mailings, pressuring them to vote no. They’re threatening to go after members who vote ‘yes’ in the coming elections.”
Dayton calls the measure “historic legislation” and said supporters need to turn up the volume at the Capitol.
“Urge lawmakers in St. Paul to follow their consciences and pass the freedom to marry,” he said. “We cannot legislate love. Committed, same-sex Minnesota couples deserve to make their own decisions for their own families. It’s a simple, yet profound ideal.”
Advocates on both sides of the marriage issue are meeting privately with dozens of legislators in the closing weeks of the legislative session. Supporters have held rallies as opponents have held rallies and traveled the state holding meetings and events, urging Minnesotans to stand firm on the current definition of marriage.
Dayton said in a recent interview he expected to be more closely involved in the final days before the vote to help persuade uneasy legislators to legalize same-sex marriage.
"I have told them I will weigh in where they think I can be most effective as the vote comes close," Dayton said in the interview.
Dayton said he plans to increase his lobbying efforts in the hours leading up to the vote.