A constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to a heterosexual union in Minnesota goes to a second Senate panel Friday.

After hearing more than 3 hours' worth of testimony last Friday, the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety approved Republican Senator Warren Limmer's amendment on an 8 to 4 party-line vote.

The 11-member Senate Rules and Administration Committee will consider the measure at a meeting that begins at 9:30AM this morning.

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.

A companion version of the measure cleared a House committee earlier this week. Representative Steve Simon told lawmakers at the hearing that being gay was a gift from God, earning him national national attention.

Video from a young woman's testimony at last week's Senate hearing has also gone viral on YouTube.com. Republican Madeline Koch, 24, told lawmakers that acceptance of gay people – and their relationships – is “something Minnesota's next generation of leaders has already embraced.”

Democratic Governor Mark Dayton has pledged his support for allowing gay couples to marry, but Republicans who won control of both chambers of the Legislature on November 2 don't need his OK to place the question on the ballot.