Minnesota’s chief backer of same-sex marriage takes a national job

Richard Carlbom

The leader of a group that successfully lobbied to make same-sex marriage legal in Minnesota has been hired to help get the law passed in other states. The New York-based Freedom to Marry announced Tuesday that Richard Carlbom will be the group’s director of state campaigns.

Carlbom has been the campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families – which successfully organized to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage last November. He then transitioned to a role that lobbied the Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor Dayton signed the bill into law in May that would allow same-sex couples to get married in Minnesota on August 1.

Carlbom will now be expected to build on that success in other states.

“Richard’s wealth of experience and expertise will enable Freedom to Marry to continue to lead and accelerate the work required to win marriage nationwide,” Marc Solomon, Freedom to Marry’s national campaign director said in a prepared statement. “The groundbreaking campaign Richard led in Minnesota was a model of strategy, drive, and mobilization – exactly what we’ll need to win the next waves of states.”

Same-sex marriage is now legal in thirteen states. The group says it is looking to make same-sex marriage legal in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon in the next two years.