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Minnesota Rejects Gay Marriage Ban In Constitution

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(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) —Minnesota voters have rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The vote is a major victory for gay rights activists and their allies, who had never won an election on the issue.

Richard Carlbom, the campaign manager of Minnesotans United for All Families (Vote No), said in a statement early Wednesday morning that “the people of Minnesota spoke loudly and clearly and became the first state in the country to defeat this kind of hurtful, freedom-limiting amendment.”

The statement went on to say the campaign’s strength was that it brought people together: “people of all faiths, in all communities, and of all political affiliations on the principle that freedom means freedom for everybody.”

Minnesotans United for All Families released a statement late Tuesday after learning the amendment had not passed.

“Today, the people of Minnesota spoke loudly and clearly and became the first state in the country to defeat this kind of hurtful, freedom-limiting amendment. They said no to limiting the freedom of committed and loving couples in Minnesota, they said no to singling out and excluding one group of people from a basic freedom just because of who they are, and they said no to telling some people it’s illegal to marry the person they love,” the statement reads.

Gay rights activists also won ballot questions Tuesday on gay rights in Maine and Maryland.

It doesn’t change things in Minnesota. A state law still makes gay marriage illegal.

Supporters of the amendment had said it was necessary to make it tougher for courts or the Legislature to overturn the law. But opponents raised millions to persuade voters it amounted to discrimination.

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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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