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Minn. Senate OKs Vote On Gay-Marriage Ban

The Minnesota Senate voted on Wednesday to put a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state to a voter referendum in 2012.

The Associated Press reports:

The state Senate on Wednesday approved a statewide vote in 2012 on a gay-marriage ban in the Minnesota Constitution, pushing forward what’s expected to be a contentious debate over the definition of legal unions.

The Senate voted 38-27 in favor of the marriage amendment, with one Democrat joining all Republicans in support. The state House is expected to vote on the issue soon, and passage is likely in the Republican-led chamber.

State law already confines marriage in Minnesota to one man and one woman. But supporters of that definition said the extra protection is needed to guard against judicial rulings like one that legalized gay marriage in Iowa in 2009. Critics said it would enshrine discrimination in the state’s most important document, and that the debate between now and November 2012 would be divisive and a distraction from more important issues facing the state.

The Senate debate stretched past three hours, with numerous Democrats citing gay family members and friends in opposition to the amendment. At a press conference following the Senate vote, several Democratic senators had tears in their eyes.

Read the full article via THE WALL STREET JOURNAL