Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has pledged to fight an effort to ban gay marriage with “every fiber of my being,” the Star-Tribune reported.

Dayton made his remarks a day before the Minnesota House was expected to consider a constitutional amendment sponsored by Republican Representative Steve Gottwalt that would define marriage as a heterosexual union.

The Democratic governor acknowledged that his hands are tied on whether the amendment reaches the ballot box next year, but warned the move was “ill advised” and predicted voters would reject it.

“I think Minnesotans have much more compassion and understanding than they recognize and I think it will be defeated next year,” Dayton told reporters.

The Senate has already approved the measure. But the House delayed an expected vote on Thursday and then again on Friday. The chamber must act by Monday, the last day of the legislative session.

An ally of the legislation might have unwittingly pushed back Friday's vote.

An opening prayer by the anti-gay pastor Bradlee Dean, in which he suggested President Barrack Obama and Democrats were not Christians, created a firestorm of protest, forcing House Republicans to retreat for an hour before reconvening the session. House Speaker Kurt Zellers said he was “offended at the presence of Bradlee Dean on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives.”

On Thursday, opponents of the measure released a compilation of sound bites from testimony heard on the amendment.