MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Many gay couples in Minnesota are watching next week's vote on gay marriage and wondering if they'll ever see legal recognition for their relationships.

If the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage loses, it would be a symbolic victory for gay Minnesotans. But it would bring no real change, because gay marriage would remain illegal under state law.

One Duluth-area couple together 19 years, Barb Weller and Marg  France, have taken legal steps to ensure they can make financial, medical and end-of-life decisions for one another. But they fear those wishes could be denied because they're not legal next of kin.

The campaign backing the amendment says it's not trying to demonize gays but that marriage between men and women is an important societal building block worth preserving.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved)