The lead group trying to defeat the marriage amendment has released its third television advertisement of the campaign, taking direct aim at Minnesotans leery about government intrusion in people’s lives.

“Government isn’t telling people who they can fall in love with, so government shouldn’t be telling people who they can marry,” says the man in the ad. “We are supposed to be the land of the brave, home of the free. If two people, gay, straight, want to commit to each other and want to take responsibility for each other through marriage, there is no reason for the government to get in the way of that.”

The ad comes with barely three weeks remaining in a multimillion-dollar campaign that both sides say is neck and neck. It was not immediately known how much the Minnesotans United will spend airing the ad or how long it will run.

Minnesota for Marriage, the lead group pushing the measure, has two ads running statewide urging voters to protect the traditional definition of marriage.

Marriage amendment backers want voters to add language into the state Constitution defining marriage solely as a union between one man and one woman. State law already forbids same-sex marriage, but supporters argue that recent court cases and proposals in the Minnesota Legislature could soon allow gays and lesbians to marry.

Opponents argue the change would make it harder for committed gay and lesbian couples to one day wed.

“The constitution is supposed to protect our freedom, not take it away,” the man in the ad says. “I am voting no. Love is bigger than government.”