The effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota has picked up support from the top state college Republican.

Minnesota College Republicans Chairman Ryan Lyk announced Wednesday that he supports efforts to overturn state law that bans same-sex marriage.

"As a young Republican and a supporter of individual freedom and limited government, I urge Republicans to join me in supporting legislation that will extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Minnesota," Lyk said in a statement.

Minnesota legislators are considering a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage, though passage is far from certain. The proposal has strong support among many Democrats, but so far only a handful of state Republicans have announced their support. State Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, is the only legislative Republican to back the change, subjecting himself to scorn and praise from the party faithful.

A new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll show that support for same-sex marriage grows among younger voters, regardless of political affiliation.

"It is not the role of government to dictate who can be married, whose love is valid, and which families matter more than others," Lyk said. "Gay and lesbian Minnesotans run business, vote, and serve in the military. They work hard, raise children, and contribute to the same system as the rest of us – and as such, they should have access to the same freedoms and opportunities as anyone else."

Some Republicans, including former State Auditor Pat Anderson, say that the party's failure to embrace gays and lesbians will make the GOP increasingly irrelevant.

That's a message that resonates with Lyk.

"It is time for the Republican Party to move past this issue," Lyk said. "I, like many of my colleagues, vote on economic and fiscal issues. The fact that we are still debating whether or not government can dictate marriage detracts from those issues and it is time we move on."