ST. PAUL (AP) - The state Senate has approved a statewide vote in 2012 on whether the Minnesota Constitution should be amended to ban gay marriage.

Wednesday's vote of 38-27 was on amendment wording that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. That definition already exists in Minnesota statute, but supporters of the traditional definition of marriage say the extra protection is needed to guard against judicial rulings.

The state House has not yet voted on the gay marriage amendment but its passage is expected with Republicans in control of that chamber.

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