President Barack Obama has come out against Minnesota's proposed gay marriage ban amendment, gay weekly the Washington Blade reported.

Lawmakers on Saturday agreed to put the question on next year's ballot.

If approved by voters in 2012, Minnesota's Constitution would be amended to define marriage as a heterosexual union, thereby banning gay and lesbian couples from the institution.

Earlier attempts to approve such a measure included broader language banning not only marriage but also civil unions and domestic partnerships for gay couples.

The president came out against the measure in a statement offered by the White House: “The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples or to take such rights away. While he believes this is an issue best addressed by the states, he also believes that committed gay couples should have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country.”

Obama, who has said he supports civil unions, not marriage, for gay couples, has also previously objected to California's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8.