MN for Marriage says money a big reason it lost marriage fight

Same-sex marriage opponents prayed at the state Capitol on Monday, May 13, 2013. (MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson )

Minnesota for Marriage, the group that unsuccessfully lobbied to defeat a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, says it was vastly outspent by supporters of same sex marriage.

The group issued a news release today saying it spent more than $200,000 between Jan. 1 and May 31 to lobby against the same-sex marriage bill. Minnesota for Marriage Chair John Helmberger said in a statement that the bill became law because they were outspent by Minnesotans United – which worked to pass the bill.

“It’s not surprising that they had to spend 10 times more than traditional marriage supporters to convince legislators to redefine marriage and ignore their real First Amendment religious liberty concerns,” Helmberger said. “It’s proof that if you spend enough money you can get some legislators to do almost anything – even vote against the overwhelming wishes and interest of their constituents.”

The bill to legalize same-sex marriage was the most closely watched of the 2013 session. Thousands of people rallied at the state Capitol in support of and opposition to the bill when the House and Senate voted.

Minnesotans United spent more than $2 million to lobby for the bill.

The campaign manager for Minnesotans United said the bill became law because a large number of people rallied around the belief that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“If they would have had the same amount of money that we had, the outcome would have been the same,” Richard Carlbom said.

All groups that lobbied the Legislature have to submit a form to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board by Monday detailing their expenses. The board will make the information public on Tuesday morning.

  • WR

    And thank God they did. Of course, churches in MN still don’t have to marry gays, and of course, that was never on the table. Of course, the issue is aggressively misunderstood and misrepresented by oppressive straight people and, with the incredible levels of willful ignorance on the part of anti-gay legislation supporters, it is truly refreshing that the great state of Minnesota we’ve moved ahead of the nation and are promoting healthy lifestyles for all. Now, rather than having to move elsewhere and start my business there, I can actually consider getting married and starting a family in Minnesota and help benefit all of my fellow Minnesotans keep Minnesota among the top of the crop nationally, and internationally. Thank you Minnesota for your foresight and education, and thank you Minnesotans who, although perhaps were not familiar with gay issues, went with your gut instinct of kindness to your neighbors and not fearing the unknown and allowing another minority equal rights in your state. I am very grateful.

  • Emery

    I guess the smart money made a better investment