Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will be in Minneapolis Wednesday to raise money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

Gingrich will appear at a (suggested) $1,000-per-person lunchtime fundraiser at the Marriot City Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Gay marriage has become a significant issue in the race to succeed Republican Tim Pawlenty in running Minnesota.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, began airing television ads attacking pro-gay marriage candidates in May. Last month, the group released a 30-second spot supporting Emmer.

Emmer and Gingrich oppose efforts to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota. After a federal judge ruled California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, unconstitutional, Gingrich renewed a call for placing a gay marriage ban in the U.S. Constitution. He also supports an effort to oust from the bench three Iowa judges who last year legalized gay marriage in the state.

The rankings of three Minnesota-based companies – Target, Best Buy and 3M – dropped in this year's Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index, an annual survey of a company's gay-inclusive policies, after each made significant contributions to MN Forward, an independent political fund supporting Emmer.