Police in St Cloud, Minnesota, have arrested three men accused of severely beating a gay man because of his sexuality.

The three men, named as Matthew Warren Thomas, 24; Chad Vincent Hands, 21 and Ryan Andrew Frane, 23, were arrested and transported to a county prison.

Police say that they assaulted an unnamed 22-year-old man at around 2:24 on Monday morning. He suffered cuts and bruises to his face and hands, according to the police.

Yesterday, the White House has issued a statement condemning proposals to ban gay marriage in Minnesota. The statement called the move as “divisive” and “discriminatory”.

Voters in the state will decide in 2012 whether a constitutional ban is needed after the House and Senate approved a bill.

Minnesota already bans gay marriage but opponents claim the law needs strengthening.