Prominent Republicans join effort against marriage amendment

Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage in Minnesota say several prominent Republicans and GOP organizations have joined their cause.

Minnesotans United for All Families announced a new partnership Thursday with Log Cabin Republicans and Republicans Against the Minnesota Marriage Amendment.

At a news conference, former gubernatorial candidate and long-time Republican advisor Wheelock Whitney said he will donate $10,000 to the cause and urges his friends to do the same.

"In a free society we must allow others to live according to the dictate of their own conscience," he said.

Proponents want to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Whitney said the amendment is unnecessary and does not match with party principles.

"There's nothing, absolutely nothing in my Republican value system that supports marriage bans in our constitution," Whitney said. "I strongly oppose this amendment, as a lifelong Republican."

Minnesota GOP Chairman Tony Sutton said the state party firmly supports the amendment as part of its platform. He said Republicans, unlike Democrats, will settle the issue through a statewide vote.

"Not every Republican is going to agree with every plank in the platform. However, we're going to vigorously support our platform and our position."

Sutton could not say if the party will provide financial support to the pro-amendment effort.

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