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Minnesota GOP’s amendment to ban same-sex marriage will be on 2012 ballot

Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/08/MahurinElephant_Thumb.jpgThe Minnesota House passed a bill late Saturday night that would put a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2012. Four Republicans broke with their party to vote against the bill, while two DFLers joined the Republicans in voting for it. Following the vote, opponents of the amendment launched a new group, Minnesotans United for All Families, with the hope of defeating the ballot measure in 2012.

Republican Reps. Steve Smith of Mound, Rich Murray of Albert Lea, Tim Kelly of Red Wing and John Kriesel of Cottage Grove voted against the amendment. DFL Reps. Lyle Koenen of Clara City and Denise Dittrich of Champlin voted for it. Here’s the roll call of votes.

The vote came after hours of testimony. The UpTake provided these clips of the debate and the aftermath as protesters outside the House chambers learned of the vote.

As the vote passed, opponents were already geared up to fight the amendment. Minnesotans United for All Families launched Saturday evening.

“Minnesota voters are being asked to amend our constitution to ban same-sex marriage. In 2012, Minnesota will vote “NO” on this anti-family ballot question. In Minnesota, we treat others like we want to be treated,” said spokesperson Donald McFarland. “Our campaign is hitting the ground running and we plan on using every resource available to defeat this anti-family constitutional amendment.”

Rep. Keith Ellison became the first high-profile Minnesota to lend support for the new campaign.

In 2008, just more than 54 percent of all Minnesotans who cast their ballot in the general election voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden and delivered the state’s 10 electoral votes to the Democratic Party. The state’s governor’s race in 2010 was more hotly contested with Republican Tom Emmer earning 43.21 percent of the vote and Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Mark Dayton earning 43.63 percent. An Independence candidate, Tom Horner, took nearly 12 percent of the vote.

The issue of marriage has historically found backing within GOP ranks. And, with Minnesota already trending a bit more to the right (based on recent election results), the decision to place a potential same-sex marriage ban on the 2012 ballot could have national consequences as Democrats and Republicans again square off for control of the White House and Congress.

(Reporter Lynda Waddington contributed to this report.)

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