A Minnesota constitutional amendment
that would ban gay marriage in the state cleared the Senate on
Republicans and one Democrat, Senator
Leory Stumpf of Plummer, banded together to approve Republican
Senator Warren Limmer's bill with a 30 to 27 vote after three hours'
wort of often-emotional debate. A companion House measure has
already cleared its first legislative hurdle and is also expected to
If approved, voters would be asked in
2012 to decide on the definition of marriage. Minnesota law already
bans gay and lesbian couples from marrying, but supporters say the
law remains vulnerable to legal challenges without the amendment.
Senator Scott Dibble, an openly gay
Democrat from Minneapolis, asked, “What's so different about us?
What's such a problem?” as he raised a picture of himself with his
“The truth about our relationship is
we work hard every single day at our jobs,” he added. “We've
been there for each other. We made a lifetime commitment based in
“What family is this helping?” he
added. “Not a single family in Minnesota is helped by this
Speaking on Friday before a Senate
committee vetting his bill, Limmer said the definition of marriage
should be decided by the voters of the state.
“I believe and I believe that
proponents of the bill believe that this is an issue that is so broad
and of an intimate nature that it really should not be in the hands
of a court. It should be in the hands of the people of Minnesota,”