Dayton vetoes marriage amendment in symbolic move

Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed the bill that calls for a statewide vote next year on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but acknowledged it's a symbolic move and he can't keep it off the ballot.

Dayton called the measure mean-spirited, divisive and un-American.

"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."

The amendment asks voters if the constitution should be amended to define marriage as between a man and a woman only.

State law already prohibits same-sex marriage but supporters say the amendment is needed so voters can decide instead of judges or legislators.

Dayton said he will actively campaign against the matter, and believes that Minnesota voters will reject it.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)