A Minnesota constitutional amendment
that would ban gay marriage in the state cleared a House panel on
Wednesday morning, the
Minnesota Independent reported.
Republicans with the exception of
Representative Tim Kelly banded together to approve Republican
Representative Steve Gottwalt's bill with a narrow 13 to 12 vote. A
companion Senate measure has already cleared that chamber.
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.
The panel took no public testimony
before voting, but Democrats on the panel decried the measure.
“The founding fathers warned against
tyranny of majority. Don't do this,” Representative Kathy Brynaert
“Why take away rights in our
constitution? Why tear the people of our state apart?” said
Representative Kate Knuth. “It makes me physically ill to think of
the division we'll see.”
With only four days left in the
legislative session, supporters of the ban have fast-tracked the bill
to ensure passage in the House before Monday's close.
to a recent Star Tribune poll, a majority of voters (55%)
oppose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, while 39
percent are in favor.