Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie abandoned the original title of the proposed gay marriage amendment that voters will see on the November ballot and replaced it with one of his own, his office announced Thursday.
The Democrat's office said the title, which will be directly above the ballot question, will read: "Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples." Republicans who backed the amendment effort wanted wording that focused on the traditional definition of marriage, "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman."
The question on the ballot will remain the same.
Chuck Darrell, spokesman for the pro-amendment Minnesota for Marriage, suggested that Ritchie was "meddling" with the amendment. Ritchie's action "is a perfect example of why we need the marriage amendment," Darrell said. "You can't trust politicians to follow the law."
Ritchie's spokeswoman Patricia Turgeon said he wasn't available for comment.
More from the Star Tribune:
Setting up a possible legal showdown, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has scrapped the title of an amendment to ban same-sex marriage, drafted by supporters, and replaced it with one that echoes the campaign to defeat it.
Ritchie announced Thursday that he was changing the title of the ballot question to read: "Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples."
That has touched off a furious reaction from amendment supporters.
"We'll have to see if they can do that," said amendment sponsor Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville. "I don't know why they are messing with it, but we have to try to stop them."
Amendment supporters wanted the title to read: "Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman."