In the state of Minnesota, a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's ban on same sex marriage is facing tough odds in court.
It also lacks the broad public support that propelled which helped 5 other states successfully end their ban.
Gay activists across the nation are worried that it may propel some sort of backlash in this election year:
Gay rights supporters are very aware of how conservative groups will attempt to use the gay marriage issue as a wedge, and to put Democratic incumbents on the hot seat, winning votes for the opposition.
Some gay activists believe this battle might set gay advocacy back.
Already, a national group opposed to same-sex marriage has launched a $200,000 ad campaign targeting gubernatorial candidates who support same-sex marriage. And another conservative group is ready to intervene, and argue on behalf of Minnesota's state constitution.
States which are "on the fence" are being sought eagerly by both sides, each wanting to tip things in their own favor.
Some gay activists are looking at Iowa as a precedent for Minnesota. But the lawsuit in Minnesota faces different challenges than those overcome in Iowa and elsewhere.
Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling, 1971
Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against same-sex marriage in 1971, a precedent which no other state which won same sex marriage had, and a decision which the current Minnesota State Court would have to overturn. Four of the seven members were appointed by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
The Defense of Marriage Act bans same-sex marriage and in addition rules that same sex marriages from other states cannot be recognized in Minnesota.
DOMA Challenged on Behalf of 3 Couples
Attorney Peter Nickitas filed suit on behalf of three couples, challenging the state's Defense of Marriage Act through the courts.
The lawsuit argues the law violates equal treatment under the law, and that Minnesota's Constitution provides for free conscience and equality; It also says the Defense of Marriage Act addressed more than one issue at once, in violation of a constitutional requirement that legislation deal with a single issue.
Nickitas does not believe there is any reason for assuming the Supreme Court will rule against the couples.
Gay Group OutFront Minnesota Says Suit Too Risky
OutFront Minnesota issued a statement criticizing the action as ill-conceived and risky. But one of the plaintiffs pointed out that after the suit was filed, more than 1,000 people joined Marry Me Minnesota -- the group raising funds for the legal fight -- on Facebook, although the suit lacks national backing.
A legal scholar pointed out that Iowa's Supreme Court was more moderate than Minnesota's, and Iowa has a tradition of upholding human rights.
Two examples of states where lawsuits were filed over the objections of some in the gay rights community were given by Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom To Marry: New York and Arizona. Both lawsuits failed, and it became more difficult to change the law after that.