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Minn. GOP Eager to Put Gay Rights to Vote

Thursday Nov 11, 2010
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Gay rights activists in Minnesota thought 2012 would be the year they could finally make a serious push for gay marriage in the state, but a surprise Republican takeover of the Legislature has them back on the defensive instead.

Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, says his group will push for a statewide vote in 2012 to ban gay marriage and civil unions in Minnesota’s Constitution. Previous efforts to do so in 2004, 2005 and 2006 met a firewall in the strongly Democratic state Senate, but that liberal majority crumbled Nov. 2.

And despite a vow by new Republican legislative leaders to focus primarily on job creation and spending cuts when they take over in January, the likely new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Warren Limmer, a Republican from Maple Grove, said there’s "a lot of bottled-up desire" in his party to finally put gay marriage before state voters.

Gay marriage opponents have a prominent ally in St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt, who in September recorded a video message and mailed it to hundreds of thousands of Minnesota Roman Catholics in which he endorsed the constitutional amendment.

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