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Ex-Gov. Ventura Speaks Out Against Marriage Amendment

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The outspoken former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura isn't mincing words when it comes to the marriage amendment.

Ventura and his wife, Terry, -- both are longtime gay rights supporters -- appear in a new video opposing Minnesota's proposed constitutional amendment, which asks voters to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

WEB EXTRA: Digital Debate On Marriage Amendment

The Venturas contacted Minnesotans For All Families, a group trying to defeat the amendment, and volunteered to record the video.

"We've been married now, believe it or not, for 37 years," says the former governor, sitting next to his wife Terry.

"The happiness we've had, I would wish for everybody to have."

In the two minute YouTube post, the former first lady makes a rare public appearance, and one of her few comments since her husband left office in 2003.

"How in the world can two people professing how much they love and care for each other , and that they want to be with each other, how can that be bad, no matter who you are?" she asked.

Campaign organizers say they're trying to reach the same people who elected Ventura: outside the box voters.

"We have heard quite a bit from Independents, Republicans and Libertarians," said Kate Brickman, press secretary for Minnesotans United for All Families. "[They] see this amendment as big government, and government intrusion, and really think the government should stay out of our lives."

Jesse Ventura served a single term as Minnesota's only Independent governor from 1999 to 2003.

As governor, he supported legal protections for gays and lesbians, and had a libertarian streak that he re-states in the marriage amendment video.

" The Constitution should not be used to oppress people," he says."The Constitution is used to protect people. Love is, by far, bigger than government can ever be."

The main group supporting the amendment-- Minnesotans for Marriage-- did not respond to a request for comment.

A recent poll suggests that voters are at a virtual toss-up when it comes to Minnesota's proposed marriage amendment. Public Policy Polling found 48 percent of likely voters in favor of the amendment, and 47 percent opposed to it.

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