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Founder of gay rights group OutFront Minnesota stepping down

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The founder of Minnesota's largest gay rights group is stepping down after 21 years.

Ann DeGroot started what became OutFront Minnesota in 1987, and her tenure as executive director saw Minnesota amend its Human Rights Act in 1993 to cover gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

From 2004 to 2006 she also fought a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. That effort, along with caring for her partner during a battle with ovarian cancer, made the 52-year-old DeGroot realize she needed to slow down.

Her last day at OutFront Minnesota will be Feb. 8.

"The last few years have been pretty intense," she said. "I felt like this is the time when I know the work is going to continue. That made it possible."

She said OutFront Minnesota will form a search committee to find a new executive director.