Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is speaking out against the state's proposed gay marriage ban, saying it's a civil rights issue.

Voters in November will decide whether to place the state's law which bans gay nuptials in the Minnesota Constitution.

In an interview with the Post Bulletin, Ventura and former first lady Terry Ventura pledged to work to defeat passage of the amendment.

“I certainly hope that people don't amend our constitution to stop gay marriage because, number one, the constitution is there to protect people – not oppress them,” Ventura, an independent, said.

The professional wrestler-turned-politician explained that the issue was personal to him, saying he knew of a gay wrestler who was denied access to his partner's hospital bedside after 20 years of partnership.

“And because they are not allowed to be married, he's neither [a spouse or next of kin]. That's cruel,” he said.

Civil rights, Ventura, 60, said, should not be subject to a popular vote.

“If you did that, we would still have slavery because the majority isn't going to think about the minority. You have to have politicians with courage, who will stand up and say this is a civil rights issue, and where do we get off that the government should decide who you should fall in love with and marry?”