The Minnesota DFL opened it's 2012 state convention with the presentation of the colors: An American flag, a Minnesota flag, a POW/MIA flag and a rainbow flag, the symbol of gay equality.

Even those opening moments, the party made clear that they oppose the marriage amendment, a constitutional question voters will be asked in the fall. The Republican-controlled Legislature approved placing the amendment on the ballot last year, with a tiny handful of Republicans voting against it and Democrats voting for it.

"Maybe the GOP should stop focusing on gay marriage and concentrate on their own marriages first," DFL Chairman Ken Martin, taking a swipe at the affair between former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and staffer Michael Brodkorb. Koch resigned her leadership after being confronted about the relationship last year.

Martin also inveighed against the photo ID constitutional amendment. Martin said that amendment, which would require voters to present photo ID at the polls, "is an attempt to stifle the democratic process."

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, the first elected official to speak to the convention crowd, took up the rallying cry. He said the marriage amendment was "immoral."

The business of the convention -- endorsing U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar for a second term -- is expected to start around noon.

Check back on the Hot Dish blog for more and join this reporter on Twitter at @rachelsb



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