Governor Mark Dayton announces his symbolic veto

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has “symbolically” vetoed a proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment, despite not being able to stop it.

State legislators have put a proposal to amend Minnesota’s constitution, defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, to the state’s voters via a referendum.

If voters pass the amendment at the polls in November next year, this would effectively ban same-sex marriage in the state.

Dayton is not able to stop the referendum from going ahead but expressed his clear opposition to the amendment at a press conference yesterday.

‘Divisive and destructive’

“Although I do not have the power to prevent this divisive and destructive constitutional amendment from appearing on the Minnesota ballot in November 2012, the Legislature sent it to me in the form of a bill,” said Dayton.

“Thus, symbolic as it may be, I am exercising my legal responsibility to either sign it or veto it. Without question, I am vetoing it.”

In a letter sent to the Republican Senate Majority Leader, Dayton added: “All American citizens are entitled to equal rights and protection under the law. That would clearly include the right of a citizen to marry legally the person he or she loves.”

At least thirty other states in the US have approved similar measures banning same-sex marriage.

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