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Minnesota marriage amendment makes 2012 ballot

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May 23, 2011

Minnesota

By Tyler Millhouse

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota: A proposed same-sex marriage amendment will appear on the November 6, 2012 ballot in Minnesota. The legislatively-referred constitutional amendment was approved by both chambers of the Minnesota State Legislature. As such, it does not require the approval of Gov. Mark Dayton (D).[1]

The bill was first passed by the Minnesota State Senate on May 11, winning approval 38-27 along party lines. One Democrat, LeRoy Stumpf, crossed the aisle to support the measure.[2] On Saturday May 21, the bill won final approval in the Minnesota House of Representatives, again passing along largely partisan lines, 70-62. Two Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the bill, and four Republicans voted against the measure.[1]

The controversial measure generated hours of heated testimony in both houses and will likely be hotly contested in 2012.[2] Early polling by the Minneapolis Star Tribune suggests that public support for the measure may be weak. The poll found that 39% of respondents supported the measure while 55% opposed it.[3] Governor Dayton has also indicated his opposition to the bill.[4] However, supporters argue that the amendment is necessary to allow voters to set policy and protect existing statutes from judicial action.[5]

The measure is the first 2012 measure certified to be approved in Minnesota.

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