The lead group pushing the marriage amendment will release a new television advertisement Thursday, making the case that people in states and countries that legalized same-sex marriage faced fines or firing for opposing the law.
Minnesota for Marriage's announcer says states that legalized same-sex marriage are not the “live and let live” communities portrayed by activists on the other side.
Instead, they argue, a Canadian sportscaster got fired after publicly criticizing an athlete supporting same-sex marriage, the owners of a Vermont inn were fined and sue for refusing to host a lesbian couple’s wedding and a Catholic adoption organization closed after Washington, D.C., legalized same-sex marriage.
“People who believe marriage is one man and one woman have faced consequences,” says the announcer, former Twin Cities newscaster Kalley Yanta. “Small businesses fined. Individuals fired. Charities closed down. Churches sued. Same-sex marriage taught to young children in elementary school and parents have no legal right to be notified.”
The new ad distorts what the amendment is really about, said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, the lead group opposing the measure.
"Supporters of the amendment continue to try to mislead voters about what's at stake," Carlbom said. "Marriage is love, commitment, and responsibility. This amendment is an attempt to limit the freedom of some people in our state to join marriage. None of us would want to be told it's illegal to marry the person we love."
With just three weeks to go in the neck and neck campaign, the new ad from the group opposing the marriage amendment takes a more contrasting tone than its previous two ads. Those ads had a folksier feel and more gently affirmed the importance of marriage and the need to pass the measure.
“It’s important that Minnesotans understand that if we don’t pass the amendment, we are at risk of a judge imposing his views on the state,” said Frank Schubert, campaign manager for Minnesota for Marriage. “The argument is that this won’t happen here. This is what was said in Canada, Massachusetts, Vermont and elsewhere. And it did happen. And there were problems when it did.”
Minnesota for Marriage is urging voters to pass an amendment that would add language to the state Constitution banning same-sex marriage. Minnesota law already forbids same-sex marriage, but supporters are worried that recent legal challenges and the proposals in the Legislature could change that.
Opponents, who have been ads running for months, say the measure enshrines discrimination into the Constitution and will make it harder for gay and lesbian couples to one day marry.
Minnesota for Marriage will spent $800,000 to air the ad, titled “Not Live & Let Live,” around the state.