Group starts organizing to pass the marriage amendment

The Minnesota Family Council sent an e-mail to supporters today encouraging them to volunteer to help pass a constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage. Minnesota Family Council CEO John Helmberger said in the e-mail that the group would include the Minnesota Family Council, the Minnesota Catholic Conference and the National Organization for Marriage:

For our campaign to be successful, however, we need people of faith to rise up, speak, and participate in the campaign. We know that those who want to redefine marriage to their own purposes will benefit from millions of dollars in support from wealthy donors in Hollywood, New York, and other centers of “popular culture”. They will not lack for resources. We must counter that with the power of our people, who will volunteer their time, speak the truth, and contribute of their resources to help our campaign.

Our campaign plan relies on recruiting and deploying thousands of volunteers throughout the state of Minnesota. We will be conducting a massive voter education effort – speaking one-on-one with every Minnesota resident about the amendment and why it is necessary to preserve traditional marriage in our state and prevent activist judges or legislators from ever redefining it without the support of voters.

(Full e-mail below)

Helmberger also said the media “overwhelmingly against the amendment and they slant news coverage to make it seem as if we are going to lose” and suggested that they would be outspent by opponents of the amendment.

Both sides are gearing up for what is expected to be a costly battle. 31 of 31 states have voted to amend the constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Groups working to defeat the amendment include Project 515, OutFront Minnesota and the Human Rights Campaign. The Minnesota AFL-CIO also announced yesterday that the coalition of labor unions would work to defeat the amendment.

“The labor movement is, and has always been about protecting and advancing the rights of all people,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson in a news release. “We will not stand by and allow discrimination to become part of Minnesota’s constitution.”

Voters in the 2012 election will decide whether the Minnesota Constitution should define marriage as between one man and one woman. The constitution will include the marriage definition if a majority of those voting in the election vote yes.

Here’s the e-mail:

Marriage Amendment E-mail

  • Jeff Wilfahrt

    Marriage is a legal construct. That is why it requires a lawyer to dissolve one.

    DOMA is a law regarding marriage lending weight to the fact that marriage is a legal construct.

    The right to solemnize a marriage is derived from the state, not the other way around.

    Therefore any attempt to limit redress under the constitution to argue legal equality would be un-patriotic and un-American.

    The people pushing this amendment are therefore un-patriotic and un-American.

    We have a constitution for a reason and removing legal redress is not that reason.

    Jeff Wilfahrt, Rosemount, MN

  • danno

    Now my pledge is updated to: “I pledge never to vote for a candidate for any political office who 1) has ever signed a no-tax pledge, 2) has ever been a member of ALEC, and 3) has ever supported legislation or constitutional ameddlements regarding marriage or sex.” I will inform myself about these factors regarding any candidate I am considering. I may not be on the winning side, but I will be able to look in the mirror to put on makeup.

  • Albatross

    Why does MPR lend these bigots this false legitimacy? How about a headline that reads:

    “Outstate organization of religious bigots begin propaganda efforts to persuade Minnesotans to abuse state constitution.”

    Why does MPR pretend that these people have any more legitimacy than my suggested headline offers them. WHY ARE THESE CREEPS NOT LAUGHED OUT OF THE STUDIO?

    Hey MPR, why don’t you bring in the Klan and ask how their anti-civil-rights efforts are going? Contact NAMBLA about their Minnesota day care centers.


  • Corinne

    Really sad – when mis-guided people have to put energy into doing something so destructive that simply harms others.

    And remember the bible says – “Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers, that you do unto me!”

    It makes me so darn mad! Someone should spank them, and send them to their room.

    ……or maybe “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

  • Liz

    Recently I heard from Freedom To Marry that one key element in the journey of marriage equality is that GLBT people and our allies have to talk with our friends, family, coworkers, neighbors who are heterosexual/straight–but we have to talk with them about something very specific.

    We have to talk with our straight peers about marriage itself: why we want to *join* (not redefine) the institution of marriage; and why we share the same values and hopes that undergird marriage.

    According to a presentation I heard from Freedom to Marry, there is a significant difference in support either for or against marriage equality, **depending on if a GLBT person who is involved in the life of a straight person has actually talked about marriage with that straight person.**

    For straight people who do have GLBT people in their life but have NOT had a conversation about marriage, they overwhelmingly DON’T support marriage for same-sex couples.

    Conversely, for straight people who have GLBT people in their life and they HAVE HAD a conversation about marriage, they overwhelmingly DO support marriage for same-sex couples.

    Maybe each time we come across something grim in the news or on the radio, like this MPR so-called “story,” we can use that as a reminder to reach out to a straight person in our lives–and talk with them about marriage equality.

  • Bill Prendergast

    Hey, I think a couple of people here may be trying to “shoot the messenger,” here. I think it’s great when MPR identifies groups that seek to promote homophobia. (The same way that I think it’s great when MPR identifies racists or sexists to the public.)

    Most people who hear the name Minnesota Family Council probably don’t know that it isn’t as much about “family” as it is about homophobia. Most people don’t know that the MFC is very influential with the state GOP. You think it’s a bad idea to alert the public to the names and activities of homophobic groups that have a lot of influence in state politics? I don’t get how “reporting that” is “MPR legitimizing the homophobes,” anymore than an MPR story on what the KKK is doing “legitimizes the KKK.”

    My hope is that the influence of these sorts of groups is regularly chronicled in the legit news media. My belief is that if more Minnesotans knew “who the haters are,” and “what the haters are doing”–they’d hold politicians responsible for working with haters.

    I saw how news media *suppression* of the activities of homophobes worked, because I’ve spent so many years writing about homophobe Michele Bachmann. Suppression of reporting on the politics of homophobia *doesn’t* work–it actually makes the homophobes and their candidates stronger. Michele Bachmann could personally tell you how that works, if she ever gets around to telling the truth about anything.