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

Last week the Legislature put the marriage amendment on the 2012 general election ballot. Dayton says even though it doesn't cancel the vote, he's vetoing the bill because he considers it "mean-spirited, divisive, un-Minnesotan and un-American."

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 gay marriage but supporters say the amendment is needed so voters can decide instead of judges or legislators.

Dayton says he will campaign against the amendment and believes voters will reject it.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)