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Minnesotans United for All Families Debuts

By Lavender June 30, 2011

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OutFront Minnesota and Project 515 found new coalition to battle marriage constitutional amendment
An amendment appearing on the November 2012 ballot will ask Minnesotans whether to embed discrimination based on sexual orientation in the state’s constitution. In the upcoming election, Minnesotans will decide whether to define marriage as “only a union of one man and one woman.”

Recently, Minnesotans United for All Families (MUAF) formed a coalition of organizations, businesses, faith communities, elected officials, and others around the state to fight against the amendment, which some have called “un-Minnesotan.”

MUAF is a campaign to get as many constituents to “vote no” on the amendment as possible, according to Campaign Leader Donald McFarland.

“We are starting now to go after every single vote in Minnesota that we can,” McFarland said.

From door-knocking to fundraisers, MUAF hopes to educate Minnesotans, while working at every level to stop the amendment, McFarland explained.

Some Minnesota politicians, including Governor Mark Dayton and State Senator Scott Dibble, have shown support. Hundreds of others have already donated time or money.

OutFront Minnesota and Project 515, the founders of the coalition, will lead the effort, Project 515 Executive Director Ann Kaner-Roth said. She added that a broad grassroots effort will inform Minnesotans about the amendment, and get them to the polls on Election Day.

“We really are energized to move forward in this battle,” Kaner-Roth noted. “As unfortunate as it is that we have to fight it, I think we are ready to fight.”

Because same-sex marriage is not allowed in the state, Kaner-Roth observed that the amendment is somewhat redundant, but still does damage.

“Functionally, it is a duplicative measure,” Kaner-Roth pointed out, but it gives “a different level of permanence that creates even more barriers and more difficulties for same-sex couples and their families.”

Kaner-Roth related, “We know that one of the most important things about the campaign is moving things forward in the Legislature that support equality for LGBT people and their families.”

OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Monica Meyer commented that while it is “heartbreaking” the amendment is on the ballot, it gives people a chance to talk to their families, neighbors, friends, and coworkers about the amendment and how to fight against it.

Meyer remarked, “This is our chance, supporters of equality, to use this heightened visibility to have conversations to make Minnesota a better place for all people. All over the state, we’re saying this amendment is not Minnesotan. We believe in a state that really does celebrate all people. Vote against it, and make our community better while we do it.”

MUAF hit the ground running with its Center Stage for Marriage Equality fundraiser on June 20 at the Loring Theater in Minneapolis, with Senators Scott Dibble and John Marty as featured speakers.

To learn more about Minnesotans United for All Families, visit www.mnunited.org.

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