ST. PAUL (AP) - A Democratic state senator seen as a swing vote on gay marriage says he'll vote to make it legal in Minnesota.

Sen. Kent Eken represents a northwestern Minnesota district that backed last fall's gay marriage ban by 53 percent. But Eken says Monday he heard from many constituents who passionately support gay marriage. And he says even many opponents told him they think it's inevitable.

Eken, from the town of Twin Valley, represents a district that includes the city of Moorhead and small rural communities near the North Dakota border. He says his constituents are more concerned about schools, roads and bridges, and nursing homes and hospitals than they are worried about legal gay marriage.

Minnesota lawmakers could vote soon on a bill to gay marriage legal starting Aug. 1.