ST. PAUL  (AP) - A state lawmaker's speech against banning gay marriage in Minnesota's Constitution has become a YouTube hit.

Video of the remarks by Rep. Steve Simon had more than 170,000 views by Thursday morning after getting linked on national blogs.

In the recording of a Capitol hearing on Monday, the St. Louis Park Democrat asked, "How many gays must God create before we accept that he wants them around?"

Legislative Republicans want Minnesotans to vote in 2012 on the gay marriage ban. Simon says he was speaking off the cuff after talking about the issue with friends and constituents, and that he wasn't angling for the attention he's getting.

Simon says he doubts the attention his speech is getting will keep the issue off the ballot. But he says he hopes it influences voters who are wavering on the issue.

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