Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said both he and former First Lady Terry Ventura have pledged to do whatever they can to help defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
"I certainly hope that people don't amend our constitution to stop gay marriage because number one the constitution is there to protect people — not oppress them," Ventura said in a recent interview.
In November, Minnesota voters will decide whether to amend the state's constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Ventura said the issue is personal for him because when he was a professional wrestler he had a friend who was gay who had been with his partner for more than 20 years. One day, he said his friends' partner got sick and he was unable to be by his bedside because hospital rules only allowed spouse or next of kin.
"And because they are not allowed to be married he's neither. That's cruel," he said.
Ventura said he believes the majority should not be able to make decisions about the civil rights of a minority.
"If you did that, we would still have slavery because the majority isn't going to think about the minority," he said. "You have to have politicians with courage who will stand up and say this is a civil rights issue, and where do we get off that the government should decide who you should fall in love with and marry?"