For the better part of three days, chants reverberated throughout the State Capitol building, and any pair of ears that pushed through the front doors under that opulent marble dome overlooking downtown St. Paul ran smack into an incoherent porridge of voices. Climbing the stairs, the rhythmic mess of sound clarified into chants from the crowd of protesters assembled in front of the House chambers.

“Just vote no!” alternated with well-worn classics of LGBT rights marches like “What do we want? Equal rights! When do we want them? Now!”

When the handful of pro-amendment protesters turned up, “Just vote yes!” would get overlaid on the former chant, with one woman’s drawn out “Yes” rising and falling over the other voices.

Equal parts exasperation and protest, Kingfield resident Betty Tisel’s explanation of why she joined hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters at the State Capitol this weekend neatly encapsulated the feelings of many in attendance.

ā€œIā€™m defending my family from hate,ā€ said Betty Tisel.

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