MN United for All Families to lobby to legalize same-sex marriage

The group, Minnesotans United for All Families, is shifting roles from a group that worked to defeat a constitutional amendment to a group that will lobby for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The organization, which successfully defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as a man and a woman in Minnesota, will now form to lobby on behalf of legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota. The group’s spokesman, Jake Loesch, says they will be sending an e-mail to supporters today announcing the change.

“All of this is initial planning and we’re just starting to communicate and put all of our plans together.” Loesch said. “But the goal of the organization will be to make 2013 the year that we secure the freedom to marry for all couples in Minnesota.”

Same-sex marriage is expected to be a hot topic in the Minnesota Legislature this year as advocates push to remove the state’s Defense of Marriage Act (which defines marriage as a man and a woman in state law) and allow same-sex couples to marry. Supporters say the vote in November is a signal citizens would support such efforts.

But opponents of same-sex marriage are already lining up to defeat the legislation. John Helmberger, who is the CEO of the Minnesota Family Council and chairs Minnesota for Marriage, sent an e-mail to supporters today saying he doesn’t think there’s support to pass the amendment.

“First, understand that the defeat of the marriage amendment was not an endorsement of gay marriage,” Helmberger wrote. “Far from it. The amendment was defeated by a narrow margin. And, it passed in 75 out of 87 counties across Minnesota. That means that legislators did not receive a mandate from their constituents to redefine marriage.”

Gov. Dayton said he would sign legislation that legalized same-sex marriage in Minnesota. DFL legislative leaders, who will take control of the Legislature in January, suggested it would not be a top priority for them. They say they may wait until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue next year.