"...The amendment also has put Minnesota squarely at the forefront of a national debate about same-sex marriage. Three other states are dealing with marriage-related measures Tuesday: Maine, Maryland and Washington. Thursday's debate had a more national flavor, too, featuring Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage and the Rev. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's first gay bishop.
The debate took many testy turns, with heated contention over the Bible and sometimes tense discussions about same-sex marriage and the civil rights movement.
State law already doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, but supporters argue that court cases and proposals in the Legislature could change that without a vote of the people.
"All the amendment does is take the current definition of marriage and make sure that judges and politicians don't change the definition," said Brown, whose organization is the single-largest contributor to pro-amendment forces in Minnesota.
The amendment does not quash the debate on marriage, it merely ensures that Minnesota voters have the ultimate say, Brown said. "I trust Minnesotans, not the courts."