Republicans in the Minnesota House and Senate announced on Tuesday a bill that would seek voter approval amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
The plan, contained in a bill to be introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, is for the amendment to be placed on the 2012 general election ballot, reported the Pioneer Press.
In Minnesota, the only way to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot is to have both chambers approve it by simple majorities. Such a bill is not subject to a veto or any other action by the governor.
Similar bans have been proposed before, most recently in 2006 by then-state Sen. Michele Bachmann. Her bills made little headway under the DFL-controlled Legislature. Today, however, Republicans control both chambers.
“It’s disturbing that Republicans want to use one of the last weeks of the legislative session to marginalize one group of people and divide our state,” Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis said. “We are facing a $5 billion budget shortfall, yet Republicans believe the biggest threat to our state’s welfare is who is allowed to be married.”
The ballot question would read, “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”