Gay marriage ban could appear on Minnesota’s 2012 ballot

Kyle Potter

Minnesotans may vote on the definition of marriage next year.

Republican Sens. Warren Limmer, David Hann and Paul Gazelka announced Tuesday they intend to add a constitutional amendment to the 2012 election ballot that would ask voters whether marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman.

“This issue constantly comes up during legislative sessions and it’s time for the people to decide,” Limmer said in a statement regarding the amendment. “Allowing a small number of politicians, or activist judges in St. Paul to decide the definition of marriage would not be acceptable.”

The maneuver is likely an attempt to bypass Gov. Mark Dayton, who ran in the 2010 election on a pro-gay rights campaign. Unlike bills passed through the Legislature, constitutional amendments are not subject to gubernatorial veto.

The senators said they hope to finalize the amendment within the year in order to generate a full year’s worth of public discussion.