A Minnesota Senate committee on Friday
approved a resolution that seeks to constitutionally ban gay marriage
in the state, the Minnesota Independent reported.
After hearing more than 3 hours worth
of testimony, the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety approved
Republican Senator Warren Limmer's amendment on an 8 to 4 party-line
vote. The measure now heads to the 11-member Senate Rules and
If approved, voters would be asked in
2012 to decide on the definition of marriage. Minnesota state law
already outlaws gay and lesbian couples from marrying.
This year's resolution pares down
previous amendments which sought to outlaw marriage and other legal
equivalents, such as civil unions, for gay and lesbian couples. The
omission leaves open the possibility that future lawmakers could
recognize the unions of gay couples, but not with marriage.
Committee Chairman Limmer said only the
state's voters could decide on the definition of marriage: “I
can't imagine anything more unacceptable than to allow a small group
of politicians or perhaps even a smaller number of judges to define
marriage rather than the people of Minnesota.”
Senator Barb Goodwin, a Democrat,
pleaded with lawmakers to reverse course.
“I could not live with myself, and
those of you who claim to be good Christians, you need to think about
what you are doing here,” she said.
Republicans won control of both
chambers of the Legislature on November 2, dashing the hopes of gay
marriage supporters who believed the state was poised to become the
sixth in the nation to legalize the institution.
Democratic Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has pledged his support for
gay marriage, his OK isn't needed to place the question on the
In January, the
Christian conservative group Minnesota Family Council pledged to
spend $4.71 million over the next two years to see the measure
The House Civil Law Committee is
scheduled to hold a Monday hearing on a companion bill.