MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

Three national gay rights groups are recruiting volunteers to send to Minnesota and three other states where gay marriage is on the ballot this fall.

The Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced the drive Thursday. They are looking for volunteers willing to spend a full week in one of the four states, or just a weekend.

Minnesota is voting on whether to ban gay marriage in its state constitution. Maine is voting on whether to legalize gay marriage, while Maryland and Washington vote on whether to uphold gay marriage laws passed by their legislatures.

The coalition, which dubbed itself United for Marriage, says it believes 2012 is a crucial year at the ballot box for gay marriage.