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.
On Friday, Minnesotans United posted the latest television commercial in the campaign. The first 10-seconds of the ad is narrated while the recent misleading Minnesota for Marriage commercial plays in the background. A female voice shares:
Unfortunately, supporters of the marriage amendment have been trying to mislead Minnesotans. These ads have been deemed false and misleading.
Statements including “false amendment 1 ads by out-of-state interests” and “WCCO: ‘False’ and ‘Misleading’” are displayed on top of the Minnesota for Marriage ad as the narrator speaks.
At 11s, the solid dark background of the ad is replaced with John and Elizabeth from Edina, Minnesota sitting at what appears to be their dining room table. The couple talk directly to the camera:
Elizabeth: Our parents taught us the Golden Rule, not judging others and treating others the way we’d like to be treated.
John: And those are the values we’re showing our children by voting no on the marriage amendment.
What do you think about this response? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
In Minnesota, there are certain truths we hold dear: freedom, treating others as we would want to be treated and honesty. Supporters of the marriage amendment aren’t living up to that.
Kim goes on to rebuff claims made in the recent Minnesota for Marriage ad when she states:
The truth? This amendment means no change to what schools teach. And no change to the fact that children learn their most important values at home from their parents.
The 30-second spot concludes with Kim speaking to the camera again:
The values we share and the values we want to teach our kids are why so many Minnesotans are voting No on Amendment 1. And I hope you will too.
Clearly, the reference to “Amendment 1″ was in response to Minnesota for Marriage calling it that in their commercial. You see, everyone has heard the message, “Vote No on the marriage amendment.” So, strategically, it makes sense that Minnesota for Marriage doesn’t refer to it by that name.
It’s also clear that Minnesotans United is countering amendment supporters’ Kalley Yanta with Kim. Talking to the camera in a soft voice reminds me of Minnesota for Marriage’s second ad (sans the iPad and coffee mug).
I’m not sure if this spot will air on television, but I hope it does. Why we didn’t proactively address this concern is still beyond me, but we can evaluate our strategies next week. Right now, let’s defeat this mean-spirited amendment!
That’s the title of a Star Trib article posted yesterday which features a video from the Minnesotans United for All Families’ rally on Monday night.
The event featured a long list of speakers, including Amy Klobuchar, Al Frankin, Cheryl Reeve, Scott Dibble and Minnesota Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe to name a few.
According to the Trib, the crowd was 1,800 strong:
Monday’s rally brought together swarms of supporters waving orange and blue signs, vowing to defeat an amendment that voters in 30 other states have passed without exception, including California and Maine.
Of course, we’re not alone. The article also talks about the fact that Minnesota for Marriage is also ramping up their efforts with non-stop phone banking and new radio ads (in addition to their deceptive television spots).
According to Chuck Darrell, Spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage:
The bottom line, rallies don’t win elections, getting people to the polls does.
And he’s absolutely right. So come on Minnesota – get out there and remember to vote NO on writing discrimination into our state constitution. Stand with me on the right side of history and let’s celebrate love, not penalize it.
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.
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.
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.
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!
In March of this year, I shared how the National Organization for Marriage had been promoting “ex-gay therapy” as a way to help change people from being gay. NOM, the primary funding arm behind Minnesota for Marriage, shows what these groups are really after through their advocacy of such practices. Make no mistake, these amendment supporters may hide behind the “protecting traditional marriage” argument, however, advocacy of reparative therapy practices shows their true colors.
With that said, I’m happy to say that this weekend, California has officially become the first state in the country to ban these reparative therapy practices for minors:
This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.
Governor Jerry Brown, California
I hope that other states will follow California’s lead. Let’s stop telling our youth that they need to be repaired for who they are. I said it back in March and I’ll say it again: NOM, your advocacy of these practices is shameful. The damage this organization does to society is far greater than any of the supposed consequences allowing gay marriage would have.