Minnesota House adjourns without voting on anti-gay marriage amendment

Protestors outside the Minnesota House chambers. Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

The Minnesota House of Representatives adjourned Thursday night without voting on a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

Protestors outside the Minnesota House chamber.

A vote on whether to approve the ballot initiative won’t come until Friday at the earliest, but Friday’s order of business was not announced before lawmakers headed home for the night, reported KARE-TV.

Demonstrators began to arrive at 2:30, chanting “kill the bill” and “pass the bill” depending on their perspective. Just to report to work, lawmakers had to squeeze their way through a gauntlet of protesters to get into the House chamber.

The bill, which has already passed the State Senate, would put the proposed amendment on the Nov. 2012 ballot. It would change the Minnesota Constitution to reflect that marriage is solely between one man and one woman.

State law already prohibits same-sex marriages, but backers of the amendment want it in the Constitution because they say the law could be overturned by judges or future Legislatures.

Public opinion, however, has shifted on the issue in recent years.

According to a Star Tribune poll released last week, a majority of Minnesotans oppose amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

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