All Rights reserved
A judiciary committee in Minnesota's senate passed a bill that could allow voters to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Voting 8-4, Minnesota's GOP-controlled senate judiciary committee green-lit the legislation after two hours of debate and an hour-long debate between senators, reports the Minnesota Star-Tribune. Previous efforts by Minnesota's senate to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage -- the state already outlaws marriage equality, though the ban is not yet written into the constitution -- have failed, but Republicans gained an upper hand in the past election. Both the senate and house of Minnesota are Republican-controlled, while the governor, Mark Dayton, is a Democrat.
Civil rights leaders and Democrats say the constitutional ban is an effort by Republicans to distract voters from more pressing issues.