The Minnesota House of Representatives late Saturday night approved an amendment to the state Constitution defining marriage as one man and one woman only. The proposed amendment, passed earlier by the state Senate, will now appear on the ballot in November 2012. Voters must approve it for it to become part of the state Constitution.
House members voted mainly along party lines, although some voted against the majority of their party. Four Republicans voting against the marriage amendment, and two Democrats voting in favor of the marriage amendment. In the state Senate, one Democrat joined all of the Republican state senators to approve the amendment.
This historic vote became possible last November when Minnesota voters unexpectedly gave Republican legislators a majority in both houses of the state legislature. Democrats had promised in their campaigns to legalize same-sex marriage, as well as other measures, but Minnesota voters denied them the majorities in the legislature they had held for years. The governor has no role in the amendment process, so Democratic governor Mark Dayton, narrowly elected last November and who strongly supports redefining marriage to include same sex couples, can do nothing as governor to stop the measure from going to the ballot.
Marriage measures have appeared on the ballot in 31 states, and voters in all 31 states have rejected redefining marriage to include same sex couples. Thirty of the 31 statewide votes involved approval of state constitutional amendments. In the 31st state, Maine voters in 2009 used the referendum process to repeal a state law the legislature enacted to redefine marriage.
This post originally appeared here.