A new poll has revealed that the majority of Minnesotans oppose legalising same-sex marriage.
The poll conducted by the Minnesota Star Tribune between 25-27 February showed that 53% of Minnesotans think the state legislature should not legalise same-sex marriage while 38% think they should and 9% were still undecided.
Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen said the results were surprising and that opposition was stronger than in other polls conducted.
He said: “There have been a number of polls on the issue.
“The trend in general is moving toward acceptance of marriage equality.
“There will certainly be more conversation on this. Our members are talking to their constituents, which is more important than any poll.”
Legislators are now considering bills that would make same-sex marriage legal.
However, the poll of 800 Minnesotans showed that resistance is strong in outstate Minnesota where 73% oppose same-sex couples having the right to legally wed with only 27% in favour or undecided.
The main support for same-sex marriage can be found in the Hennepin and Ramsin counties with 57% of people saying that same-sex marriage should be legalised.
Autumn Leva, a spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage, a group that wants to block same-sex marriage said that the poll revealed Minnesotans decision to reject the constitutional amendment in November of last year does not mean they want to seek legalisation of same-sex marriage.
She claimed: “The poll certainly helps highlight that the issue of the constitutional amendment is very separate from redefining marriage.”
However, Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, which campaigns to legalise same-sex marriage, said that their research shows that most Minnesotans want same-sex marriage.
He said: “Minnesotans are having a conversation about marriage.
“I think at the end of this conversation, the Legislature and the people of Minnesota will be at a place where they don’t think it should be illegal to marry the person you love.”