On Wednesday, Minnesota for Marriage officially conceded defeat and published the following letter on their website:
“Despite the disappointing outcome of this election, we rejoice tonight that marriage is still marriage. We know that God has defined marriage as between one man and one woman, regardless of the efforts of some to overthrow His design,” said John Helmberger, Chairman of Minnesota for Marriage.
“We give thanks to God for His creation of marriage, and we commit ourselves to work and pray that attempts to redefine marriage in our courts and legislature will not succeed.”
“However, this election is not an end but a beginning. The groups that have come together to protect the definition of marriage look forward to getting on with the work of restoring a vibrant culture of marriage in our state.”
“We want to thank all our supporters and volunteers who have donated their time and resources in this effort to protect marriage. And, we are grateful for the steadfast support of the thousands of pastors and faith leaders that came together – across denominational and faith lines – in an effort to preserve marriage as the vital institution it has been since the dawn of time.”
“In particular, I’d like to thank our entire campaign staff including:
- Deputy Campaign Dir., Andy Parrish,
- Statewide Political Dir., Crystal Crocker,
- Communications Dir., Chuck Darrell,
- Youth and Minority Outreach Dir., Winnie Okafor,
- Spokesperson, Autumn Leva,
- Directors of Pastor Outreach, Pastor Brad Brandon and Pastor Jeff Evans,
- Political Outreach Assistants: DeeDee Larson, Janna Schmidt, and Gabriella Linder.”
“It’s been an incredibly close and hard-fought race, and it is clear that we have a lot of work to do to restore the kind of vibrant marriage culture we want to leave for our children and grandchildren,” concluded Helmberger.
Frank Schubert has been busy in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington this election season. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been pouring out-of-state money into each of these races to help fund ads filled with scare tactics and misleading information to trick people into voting against equality.
If you have any doubt, take a look at this fantastic video that TheFour put together in which they compare the commercials currently running in each of the four states that have marriage initiatives on the ballot.
While each commercial has their state-specific organization stamped on the screen, the fact that each commercial is identical highlights an organized effort at the national level to stop marriage equality.
The commercials use the same messaging that has worked so well for Schubert in other states like California where voters elected to limit the rights of committed same-sex couples.
Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington, let’s send Schubert a strong message: Your scare tactics are outdated and voters are smart enough to see through your twisting of the truth.
Oh, and take your money and mean-spirited commercials elsewhere. In Minnesota, we believe in the Golden Rule.
In Minnesota, we Vote No.
It was only a matter of time before Minnesota for Marriage started playing dirty. As predicted, the group that supports the mean-spirited marriage amendment is waiting until the last days before the campaign to release commercials filled with scare tactics and threats of how things would change in Minnesota if the marriage amendment is defeated.
I’m not sure what sickens me more, the fact that Minnesota for Marriage would run such a deceptive ad or the fact that many Minnesotans will believe this message.
Minnesotans United for All Families has already put out a fact check document that refutes each of the claims made in the new commercial.
The thing I find to be the most frustrating about this is that I blogged about this very topic months ago. We KNEW this attack was coming and yet we did not proactively address it. Instead, we continue to run this terrible commercial (there, I said it). We’ve said since DAY 1 that the “rights” argument doesn’t resonate with voters, and yet this is the ad that continues to run. Where are the real Minnesotans? Where are the personal stories each of us has been encouraged to tell.
With less than two weeks to go, we’ve got to update our strategy or we will lose this fight in Minnesota.
Source: Star Tribune
Image by: Steve Sack
Rather fitting, considering everything the Catholic Church in Minnesota is doing to ensure the mean-spirited marriage amendment gets passed.
In an article from September, the Star Tribune shared that Minnesota Catholics would receive a letter from the church urging them to donate to amendment supporters.
The Trib quotes a political science professor John Green, who says the act is “unusual” compared to what the church has done in other states:
“I can’t think of anything as direct and as explicit,” Green said. “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it legally, but certainly I’m sure it’s very controversial. Catholic leaders have been involved in fundraising. I know of examples where they have reached out to parishioners, but I’ve never heard of anything quite this comprehensive.”
Jason Adkins, executive director of Minnesota Catholic Conference, shares:
The mailing “gives Catholics an opportunity to support the passage of the amendment and asks them to send a contribution to where it will be most effective,” Adkins’ letter states. In an interview Monday, Adkins said the mailing is being coordinated and paid for by his group and will cost close to $100,000.
Another $100,000 the church is spending just to send out letters asking for more money! When will this insanity stop?
The Trib article goes on to highlight to continued significant role the Catholic Church has played in funding amendment supporters here in Minnesota.
However, not all Catholics believe that limiting the rights and freedoms of some citizens is in the best interest of the Church. According to Diane Haugesag:
The church has other things it should be spending its money on … feeding the hungry, providing homes for the homeless.
I see this focus on one issue and it’s extremely divisive, which I don’t think serves the church no matter what side you’re on.
How very true. When all is said and done, the Catholic Church will have spent millions of dollars in an attempt to enshrine inequality into the state constitution in Minnesota. That’s just sad.
If you’re wondering why the Catholic Church is sending out letters to parishioners asking for money, it’s because amendment supporters already spent all of their money – even before purchasing TV air time to run their ads!
MinnPost provides some great insight into how the ‘vote yes’ side has been spending their money. The most expensive expenditure?
Since January, Minnesota for Marriage has paid $332,000 for campaign-management services to strategist Frank Schubert and his new firm, Mission Public Affairs.
Yes, that Frank Schubert. The guy behind the strategy Minnesota for Marriage is using to push this mean-spirited amendment.
While these groups provide very little insight into their donors (which seems to defy donation disclosure rules and laws), MinnPost provides some interesting nuggets.
It’s really no surprise that we’re being outspent. Money doesn’t speak on this issue. The voices of the majority of Minnesotans are going to be heard much more loudly at the polls.
Autumn Leva, spokesperson, Minnesota for Marriage
Source: Star Tribune
Leva responds to the fact that Minnesotans United for All Families has continued to outraise amendment supporters more than 4-to-1.
Minnesotans United for All Families spokesperson, Kate Brickman, confirms that money alone won’t win this election:
Raising money alone is not going to win us the campaign. Our fundraising has been a way to get engaged in the campaign.
The Star Tribune article breaks down donations on both sides:
More than 70 percent of Minnesota for Marriage’s funds come from two organizations. The Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense Fund donated $600,000 and the Minnesota Family Council Marriage Protection Fund gave $250,000.
Minnesotans United has drawn its contributions from more than 44,000 donors, with about 90 percent coming from within the state. The group’s latest fundraising report does not include more than $350,000 the group raised over the weekend at hundreds of house party fundraisers.
Groups supporting same sex marriage bans have been outspent in most of the 30 states where the issue reached the ballot, but have yet to lose an election.
Let’s prove Leva and amendment supporters wrong: No matter how you spin it, or how much you spend, Minnesotans stand up for equality and just say NO.
Minnesota for Marriage released their 3rd television commercial today. This commercial follows the tactic that opponents of same-sex marriage have used in all other battles: Wait until just prior to the election to release a commercial filled with scare tactics and lies.
But Minnesotans United for All Families was ready for this attack and has already released a fact check document that disputes the claims made by Minnesota for Marriage.
Be sure to check out the facts and share this post. Let’s make sure Minnesotans know that these ads are filled with nothing more than scare tactics.
In case you missed it last week, same-sex marriage opponents announced a significant influx of dollars to their campaign to the tune of 2 million dollars. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) sent out an email about a donation match offer from an “anonymous donor” (of course the donor is anonymous;NOM never seems to have to disclose where their money comes from). For every dollar donated to NOM, the anonymous donor will add two more dollars to match. The total haul? 3 million dollars to ensuring same-sex couples are treated unequally by the law.
Here are some excerpts from the e-mail NOM sent out to their supporters:
What would you do to raise $3 million to protect marriage from Barack Obama and his wealthy homosexual lobbyists?
A couple paragraphs later, they take another stab at Obama, call out their success in passing Prop 8 in California and let supporters know they’re working hard in Minnesota:
The National Organization for Marriage is the most effective pro-marriage organization in America fighting Obama’s attempts to re-define marriage. NOM also led the fight to defend every successful pro-marriage campaign since Prop. 8 in California, and we’ve been on the front lines in Minnesota, North Carolina, Iowa, Maryland, and states across the nation.
As always, NOM continues to deceive claiming that same-sex equality is supported by “billionaire gay marriage activists:”
This new $2 million matching grant challenge will help us compete even more effectively with Obama’s billionaire gay marriage activists and wealthy Hollywood celebrities who are determined to impose homosexual marriage as the law of the land.
The reality is that Minnesotans United for All Families raised $2.56 million dollars between July 24 and September 18. That money came from over25,000 individual donors! And 98% of those donors were from Minnesota! (source) But facts don’t seem to matter to the other side. Anything they can do to rally their troops, even if it means telling outright lies, they’ll do it.
I’m so tired of this outside organization pouring dollars into this state in an attempt to influence Minnesotans. It would be one thing if they were at least honest in their attempts, but again and again, they mislead voters and refuse to play by the same rules as everyone else. It’s time we call them on their shenanigans.
Here’s my simple message to NOM: Get out of my state. Take your lies and dollars elsewhere. Let real Minnesotans have this conversation with each other.
To help counter NOM’s fundraising, please consider making a small donation to Minnesotans United for All Families through my personal fundraising page.
Most Lutherans supportive of natural marriage are less vocal than the handful of activists calling for a radical redefinition of the time-tested institution upon which every human society has been founded. Lutherans usually are a modest and quiet bunch. I ought to know: My wife and I had a potluck for our Lutheran wedding reception.
But even modest and quiet people vote, and I foresee a good number of Lutherans joining me in checking “Yes” for a constitutional protection of natural marriage.
Ryan C. MacPherson, founding president, Hausvater Project
Source: MPR News
MacPherson argues that, despite what you may read in the daily news, many Lutherans support the divisive marriage amendment on ballots this fall.
Unfortunately, even though polling in recent days has show a swing in the Vote No direction, I do worry that what MacPherson says is true. Voters are less likely to voice an unpopular opinion when polled than when they are in the voting booth. This is why it is so important that in these final days up until November 6th, each and every one of us is out telling stories, talking to friends, family, neighbors and even volunteering to talk to strangers with Minnesotans United.
The fight for equality is just too important – we must never give up. Let’s show the world that Minnesotans stand up for each other, no matter what.
On Monday, October 8, Minnesota for Marriage and the Minnesota Catholic Conference brought together a panel to discuss the potential ramifications if same-sex marriage were made legal. The panel, which took place at the University of St. Thomas law school in Minneapolis, included a Canadian Archbishop who helped paint a picture of all of the supposed things that have happened in Canada since legalizing gay marriage.
A couple things.
- The so-called marriage “protection” amendment, if defeated, does not make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota. It simply keeps this limiting text out of our state constitution and allows for future conversations to be had on this topic
- Minnesota for Marriage has already been actively misleading voters as to what has actually happened in Canada. Check out my previous blog post on this very topic. Be forewarned, you will not be happy
- Canada’s laws on gay marriage protect clergy from having to marry gay couples based on religious grounds. However, other tax-exempt organizations (e.g., Knights of Columbus) cannot exclude same-sex couples the ability to use facilities, etc.
Reverend Mike Tegeder, a Catholic Priest in Minnesota, RSVP’ed to the event and received the following note from the organizers according to the Star Tribune:
You will sit where I tell you to sit, and if you refuse, you will be escorted out by UST security… If you disrupt the event in any way, or speak out of turn, I will direct University [of St. Thomas] security to remove you.
Tegeder has publicly opposed the marriage amendment, despite the church instructing priests to be quiet on the matter.
Another example of the lengths amendment supporters will go to in order to pass this mean-spirited amendment.
Note: You can find additional information about the event on TwinCities.com.
You know, I just think there are also consequences if this bill is passed— I’m sorry, there could be some consequences if the bill does not pass, the amendment does not pass— if it were to fail there could be some consequences. My concerns are that our children in our schools could be taught some liberal agendas because of the marriage amendment. Because in the schools they may be taught… ah… that, this is normal behavior. I personally do not believe it is. But I also believe in the choice and I firmly support marriage between one man and one woman.
Representative Mary Franson, Alexandria, September 20, 2012
Source: City Pages
Sad to see that some of our very own elected officials in Minnesota still believe that being gay is not normal and that recognizing the love between two people (who happen to be of the same gender) could lead to “consequences.”
Hmmm. I wonder if Mary Franson includes paying taxes, voting, raising families and other seemingly “normal” behaviors in her list of consequences?
We are confident that as we continue our final outreach effort, the voices of the majority of Minnesotans will speak louder at the polls than the amount of money wasted in a futile attempt to convince people that men and women are interchangeable, and the Marriage Amendment will pass on November 6th.
John Helmberger, Chairman, Minnesota for Marriage
Helmberger is quoted in an article about fundraising efforts by Minnesota for Marriage, the group that supports the mean-spirited amendment.
Minnesota for Marriage has raised nearly $1.2 million dollars so far in 2012, compared to $5.96 million raised by Minnesotans United for All Families. Helmberger had this to say about the fundraising disparity:
We’ve never been surprised by the amount of money wealthy same-sex ‘marriage’ activists are willing to pour into their attempt to change the minds of Minnesotans on the definition of marriage. In fact, we predicted over a year ago that we would be outspent 3 or 4 to 1.
Interesting that he chose to call out the “amount of money wasted” considering his side put this thing on the ballot in the first place! Oh the irony.
We are just getting hammered all day for signs.
Chuck Darrell, Spokesman, Minnesota for Marriage
Source: Star Tribune
Darrell reports that Minnesota for Marriage, the group that supports the marriage amendment, has already given out 40,000 yard signs and expected another 25,000 to arrive at headquarters last week. (Personally, I question these numbers)
In the comments, one poster supposed that most people were keeping the signs in their garages, as Vote NO signs seem to outnumber amendment supporters’ signs in force. However, a poster by the handle bethelstudent disagrees:
go anywhere that isn’t the metro area, and you’ll see plenty. Down in southwest MN where I live (I go to college in the TC), all you see are vote yes signs.
Sometimes, we forget that not all of Minnesota looks like the Twin Cities. In smaller towns or communities across the state, people don’t always get to interact with someone who is gay, let alone in a committed same-sex relationship (I know that I moved from a very small town at a young age to be in a bigger city where I felt much more accepted).
Unfortunately, because of this limited interaction with diversity, people succumb to the scare tactics that they hear from groups like Minnesota for Marriage. That’s why it continues to be so important to tell our stories, to talk to voters, to let our parents and grandparents know that we are everyday Minnesotans, just like everyone else.
While I’m glad to be surrounded by Vote NO signs in the Cities, it saddens me to hear that ANY yes signs are being given out.
Minnesota for Marriage spokesperson, Autumn Leva, talks about the Big Gay Race:
They’re going to have to run a pretty far way to convince people in Minnesota that marriage is not between a man and a woman and that kids do not need a mom and a dad. We’ve seen races to try and change the definition in 31 other states and the amendment has always passed.
Leva’s attempt to take away the excitement and inspiration people felt at the Big Gay Race should be seen as just another tactic Minnesota for Marriage is using to slow us down.
Make no mistake, Ms. Leva, those of us fighting this mean-spirited amendment were so very PROUD to see thousands of people standing up for equality for the second annual Big Gay Race. Nothing you can say can change that.
Just like nothing you can say will convince me that what you’re doing is out of “love.” Attempts to legislate your narrow beliefs while limiting the rights and freedoms of Minnesotans has no place in the Land of 10,000 lakes and I’m going to work hard to make sure you see that come NOvember!