ST. PAUL (AP) - Opponents of gay marriage say they expect more than 1,000 people who share their views to turn out for a historic vote in the Minnesota House.

House members are scheduled to debate and vote Thursday on legalizing same-sex marriage. The Senate is expected to vote Monday.

Opponents began gathering at the Capitol hours before the debate began. Dozens gathered around the Rev. Steve Goold of New Hope Church for a prayer before setting out to lobby lawmakers.

Goold told followers that they had the power to move people who haven't made up their minds. He urged them to be respectful -- not to shout and boo, but to pray.

Several opponents held bright pink signs that said "Vote no."

Meanwhile, gay marriage supporters are also swarming the Capitol.

Among them was 27-year-old Grace McBride, a nurse from St. Paul. She says she and her partner felt compelled to be there to watch history unfold.

McBride says she's thought about her wedding since she was a little girl, and hopes to get married as soon as possible if the bill becomes law.

McBride says the movement has come a long way in two years since the Legislature sent a constitutional amendment to bar gay marriage to the ballot