ST. PAUL  (AP) - The Rules Committee of the Minnesota House has narrowly approved a floor vote on the constitutional gay marriage amendment.

The committee voted 13-12 Wednesday to put the issue before the full House. The committee's Republican majority voted in favor, with one defection from Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing. All 12 committee Democrats opposed the measure to put the definition of marriage in Minnesota's Constitution to a statewide vote in 2012.

The procedural committee vote could put the marriage amendment in front of the full House as early as Thursday. The state Senate has already passed the amendment, and gay marriage supporter Gov. Mark Dayton has no authority to block it from the ballot.

Kelly is the second House Republican to publicly signal opposition to the gay marriage amendment. The other is freshman Rep. John Kriesel of Cottage Grove.

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