A Minnesota Senate committee on Friday
will hold a hearing on a resolution that seeks to constitutionally
ban gay marriage in the state.
The Committee on Judiciary and Public
Safety will hear from supporters and opponents of gay marriage
starting at 12PM. Republican Senator Warren Limmer is the chair of
the committee and the primary sponsor of the amendment.
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.
Republicans have pared down the
language of this year's amendment, which, unlike previous proposals,
does not address legal equivalents to marriage. The change leaves
open the possibility that future lawmakers could approve civil unions
or other forms of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples.
“The language that we are proposing
today doesn't do anything except say this is what we mean by
marriage,” said Senator David Hann, a co-sponsor of the amendment.
“In past years, there may have been desires to do other things.”
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