The group that successfully pushed to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota raised more than $2 million for its Capitol lobbying effort.
The money went to organize people to contact their legislators and about $500,000 went for advertising, Minnesotans United said.
Campaign manager Richard Carlbom said the group's fund-raising success came from the fact that “everyday Minnesotans wanted to secure the freedom to marry.”
The group’s effort was among the most intense of the legislative session, which concluded Monday. It is also likely to be one of the most well-funded lobbying efforts at the Capitol this year.
In January, some DFL legislative leaders wanted to wait until next year to push for same-sex marriage. But the relentless effort by Minnesotans United culminated in two dramatic floor votes to pass the proposal. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton signed the measure last week in a historic outdoor bill signing.
The group that tried to block same-sex marriage, Minnesota for Marriage, declined to release its fund-raising numbers.
Minnesota for Marriage pushed for a constitutional amendment blocking same-sex marriage, which voters rejected in November. The effort by Minnesotans United to legalize same-sex marriage spawned out of the group's victory defeating the amendment.
The National Organization for Marriage, a main backer of the Minnesota effort to block same-sex marriage, simply did not have the money to spend in Minnesota this year, an official said. NOM had been fighting similar marriage–related battles in several other states.
“There wasn’t the money. There weren’t the resources,” said Frank Schubert, national political director for NOM. “The cupboards were bare, or more than bare.”
Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Minnesota Aug. 1.
Minnesotans United has now created a political-action group to raise money to support candidates who voted to legalize same-sex marriage.