Marriage amendment booth pops up at fair

I had previously reported supporters of the 2012 marriage ballot amendment (that would define marriage as between one man and one woman) and opponents (those who favor marriage rights for same sex couples) missed the deadline for state fair booths, but there’s an update to the story.

Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition backed by the Minnesota Family Council, the Minnesota Catholic Conference and National Organization for Marriage announced yesterday that it has moved operations inside the fair.2011-09-02 12 45 01.jpg

“Initially, our coalition could not secure space inside the fairgrounds, so we set up just outside in front of the Church of the Holy Childhood,” John Helmberger, Minnesota For Marriage coalition chairman said in a press release. “Thankfully, we have been able to secure space inside the fair itself, and are now set up at Underwood St. and Wright Avenue, positioned directly under the Wright Avenue sign.”

Meanwhile, on the other side, Donald McFarland, project director of Minnesotans United for All Families told MPR News, “I’m sure the Minnesota State Fair hasn’t chosen sides in this controversial issue. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for why suddenly, in the middle of the fair, a booth appeared overnight.” McFarland said his group was told in July that the fair was sold out of concession space.

Fair spokesperson Lara Hughes wrote in an email: “Minnesota for Marriage submitted a registration requesting a license on August 31, they met all the requirements and we secured a location for them. If the Minnesotans United for All Families organization were to submit a registration requesting a license, we would certainly consider it.”

McFarland says he intends to follow up with the Fair. “We talked with the Concessions and Exhibits Staff. They were very clear that they were accepting no new vendors and that we could apply for next year.”