ST. PAUL, Minn. – Supporters of marriage equality made it a clean sweep on Tuesday night when Minnesota voters narrowly rejected a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Maine, Maryland and Washington state voters all approved same-sex marriage at the ballot box.
The measure needed 50% of all voters to be approved, according to state law.
The Roman Catholic Church, led by the homophobic Archbishop John Nienstedt from the Twin Cities, donated millions of dollars and volunteered to fight the Proposition 32 measure sponsored by Minnesota for Marriage, an anti-gay group.
HRC President Chad Griffin made the following statement:
“Minnesota is a prime example that we are experiencing a sea change in how Americans view their LGBT neighbors. With 30 states having voted to write discrimination into their constitutions, Minnesotans stood up and said, ‘not us,’ and more are sure to follow their lead.
“No amount of lies and deception funded by deep-pocketed donors could convince Minnesotans that loving and committed couples should be excluded from marriage.
“Our work begins anew in the state and with new fair-minded leadership in the legislature we move forward toward a day when all families in Minnesota are protected equally under the law. Clearly the momentum is on our side with support for marriage equality – both nationally and in Minnesota – growing by the day.
“Minnesotans United for All Families exemplifies a dedicated and well run campaign with an amazing leader in Richard Carlbom. Our entire steering committee and board members Les Bendtsen and Tom Knabel have been a part of this fight since the beginning were true partners to the campaign.”
Thalia Zepatos, director of public engagement at Freedom to Marry and a key adviser to Minnesotans United for All Families, said:
“Today Minnesotans affirmed that marriage matters for their gay and lesbian neighbors and friends, as for all of us, and refused to slam the door on marriage in the state constitution. Now loving and committed couples in Minnesota will be able to work to achieve their dream of crossing the threshold, respected equally under the law.”
"Minnesotans United worked doggedly day and night to make the case to voters in heartfelt and personal stories and conversations. They recruited thousands of volunteers for ‘get out the vote’ efforts and powerfully explained why marriage matters over the airwaves, online, and in one-on-one conversations. Non-gay people joined gay people across the states to stand up for freedom and fairness, and move Minnesota closer to the freedom to marry for all.”
Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, added:
"As soon as our opponents moved a constitutional amendment to the ballot, Freedom to Marry stepped up with leadership, expertise, and funding that was crucial to making Minnesota the first state to ever defeat an anti-marriage ballot initiative. The single largest investor in our work, Freedom to Marry provided vital funding support to Minnesotans United and, in addition, led a public education campaign that conveyed in powerful terms why marriage matters to gay and lesbian couples. Minnesota made history and Freedom to Marry was with us every step of the way.”
Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.