The House Civil Law Committee approved the bill by a vote of 10-7 along party lines — all Republicans voted for the measure, reported the Minnesota Independent.
The committee heard several hours of testimony, including that of Bishop Bob Battle of the Berean Church of God in Christ. Battle said, “I don’t consider gay marriages as the same as whites not being allowed to marry blacks.”
“Gay marriage advocates have attempted to hijack the civil rights movement,” he said. “I know what civil rights are, and gays in America have all the civil rights as anyone else.”
Rep. Steve Simon (D-St. Louis Park), said the bill appears like an attempt to “enshrine religious beliefs” into the Minnesota Constitution, considering almost all the testifiers in support were religious leaders.
Passage by the full Senate and the House appears likely with solid Republican majorities in both chambers. Supporters hope to put the measure on the 2012 ballot.