The Minnesota House on Thursday is
expected to vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay
marriage in the state.
Republicans with the exception of
Representative Tim Kelly banded together at a Wednesday House panel
to approve Republican Representative Steve Gottwalt's bill with a
narrow 13 to 12 vote. A
companion Senate measure has already cleared that chamber.
The House must approve the measure
before Monday, the last day of the legislative session, for it to be
on next year's ballot.
Minnesota law already bans gay and
lesbian couples from marrying, but supporters of the amendment say
the law remains vulnerable to legal challenges without the amendment.
Minnesota Independent quotes Governor Mark Dayton as saying
he'll fight the move “with every fiber of my being.”
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, took
issue with gay marriage supporters' appeals to legislators.
“Gay marriage advocates are mounting
a furious last-minute assault on Republican legislators in an effort
to cow them into delaying the vote authorizing the marriage amendment
until sometime next year,” NOM
President Brian Brown wrote at the group's website. “They are
rallying supporters all around the country to contact Minnesota
legislators asking them to stop the marriage amendment.”
The Catholic Defense League of
Minnesota sounded a similar alarm: “We have an opportunity, while
investing minimal time, to fight back. As the legislators convene at
the House chambers, there will be opposition forces there to try to
to a recent Star
poll, a majority of voters (55%) oppose a constitutional
amendment banning gay marriage, while 39 percent are in favor.