Foes of marriage amendment add almost $3M to coffersby Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesotans United for All Families -- the largest group opposed to the proposed marriage amendment in the state's constitution -- raised $2.75 million since its last report in late September. That brings its total fundraising to almost $10 million for the entire campaign.
Due to a software glitch, Minnesota for Marriage -- the main group working to pass the amendment -- has not made its final fundraising report public yet. In a press release, Minnesota for Marriage reported raising $3.6 million from Jan. 1, 2012 through Oct. 22, 2012.
Since Oct. 22, the organization has raised an additional $660,000, of which $500,000 came from the Minnesota Family Council. Overall, amendment supporters have raised over $5 million.
"We are delighted that our 2012 donor contributions more than doubled since our last report," said Minnesota for Marriage chairman John Helmberger. "The surge in the number of contributors and contributions has allowed us to step up our TV, billboard, and radio ads that focus on what happens to individuals, small businesses, churches -- and especially children -- when same-sex marriage has been imposed elsewhere," said Helmberger.
The Minnesota Catholic Conference, which is aligned with Minnesota for Marriage, reported its year-to-date fundraising as $816,000. Contributions came primarily from Catholic dioceses in Minnesota and around the country, and many local Knights of Columbus groups.
Minnesotans United for All Families reports that 62,175 people contributed to the effort to defeat the amendment, and 92 percent of them are from Minnesota, and $1,281,859 in in-kind contributions.
"We continue to see that Minnesotans are personally investing in this campaign because they know that this amendment limits a basic freedom for some Minnesotans just because of who they are," said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United in a statement. "When Minnesotans measure this vote against their values of freedom and fairness, of treating others as they would want to be treated, they realize this amendment just doesn't measure up and that voting no is how they practice those values."
His organization rallied supporters in Minneapolis Monday evening. The list of guests speaking on Northrop Plaza at the University of Minnesota included Democratic senators Al Franken and Amy Klobouchar, as well as Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, and actress and Minnesota native Rachel Leigh Cook.
Kluwe, who has made ads to help defeat the amendment, said America is built on inclusion, not exclusion.
"Our Statue of Liberty says, 'Bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.' It does not say 'stay out gays.' It does not say 'stay out Jews' or 'stay out Muslims,'" Kluwe said. "That's not what America was about. America was built on bringing together a wide variety of people and treating them all as American citizens."
Minnesota for Marriage on Tuesday announced the release of two new radio ads, which will run in English and Spanish.
Polls show Minnesotans are nearly evenly divided over the marriage amendment.
- All Things Considered, 10/30/2012, 4:49 p.m.