McGuire made the motion in the Local Government and Elections committee on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m giving you an opportunity to actually repeal something we already passed, a constitutional amendment on defining marriage, which I absolutely think should not be in our constitution,” she said.
Committee Chair Ray Vandeveer, a Republican from Forest Lake, tried at first to prevent a vote on the amendment saying it was not germane. When pressed, however, a Senate lawyer said it could go through.
Sen. Warren Limmer, a Republican from Maple Grove and the chief sponsor of the anti-gay marriage amendment last year, demanded that the vote be recorded in the Senate Journal.
McGuire’s motion failed along party lines, 8 nos and 6 yeses.
Two bills to repeal the anti-gay marriage amendment remain alive in both the House and the Senate, though it’s unlikely either will get a hearing from Republican committee chairs.
“This fall, Minnesota voters will be asked whether we should amend our state’s constitution to ban marriage for loving, caring and committed same-sex couples,” McGuire said after the vote. “Leading up to the election, Minnesota families will be subjected to a negative and expensive campaign that threatens to marginalize one group of people and deeply divide our state. I believe it is in the best interest of Minnesota, our citizens and our business community to repeal this damaging amendment, and I am deeply disappointed that Republicans refuse to undo their terrible mistake.”
She added, “The anti-marriage amendment doesn’t help a single family in Minnesota, it doesn’t create a single job, and it actually harms our state’s economy. Writing discrimination into the state’s constitution is a terrible mistake that will simply divide our state and hurt our economic competiveness. I urge Republicans to do what is best for our state and economy by taking this dangerous and divisive amendment off the November ballot.”