Democratic leaders in Minnesota have pledged to fight against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state, the Minnesota Independent reported.

Voters on November 2 handed both chambers of the Legislature over to Republicans, a move that shut off talk of Minnesota becoming the next state to legalize gay marriage, and renewed hope among social conservatives opposed to the institution.

One socially conservative group, the Minnesota Family Council, announced in January it would spend $4.71 million over the next two years to ban gay marriage.

Republican Senator Warren Limmer was also quick to pledge his support for such an amendment. Saint Paul watchers believe the GOP will push the issue next year.

In its newsletter to supporters, Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin pledged that the party would fight such a proposal.

“Let me be clear: the DFL Party has and always will be the Party that stands for equal rights,” Martin wrote. “And we will work hard to ensure that the GOP is not successful in their quest to write discrimination into our state constitution.”

“We are the party that supports equality and fairness. We believe that every person in Minnesota should have the ability to marry the person they love. We believe every student should be safe at school, and have a healthy, respectful learning environment free of harassment and violence. We believe in ending discrimination based on sexual orientation (and also based on gender, race, religion, disability and any other perceived or actual characteristic). And we will fight to make sure that any GOP efforts to outlaw gay marriage through a constitutional amendment will be voted down in 2012.”