Minnesota Senate Approves Statewide Vote on Gay Marriage

The Minnesota Senate has approved a plan to put a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a statewide vote in 2012. Senators voted 38-27 to pass the amendment, which would set a vote on whether to define marriage as between one man and one woman. That definition is already in the Minnesota statute, but the bill authors say that extra protection is needed to protect it against judicial rulings.

Critics of the amendment think its going to create an expensive statewide campaign on the marriage issue in 2012. They also say the amendment would cement discrimination into the state’s constitution, and that it’s a distraction from more important issues facing Minnesotans.

The House must also vote to put the measure on the ballot before it would go to voters.