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Minnesota marriage equality opponents ramp up operations in face of unforeseen difficulties

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

Today’s Bangor Daily News has an article about the anti-marriage equality campaign in Minnesota reporting that conservative advocates in that state are planning a more aggressive push than they have in the past, partially because their chances of success are starting to look more tenuous.  Minnesota law does not allow for marriage equality, but supporters of the marriage amendment argue that it is necessary to stop future judges or legislatures from changing that law.  And, of course, they don’t want Minnesota to become the first state to break the streak of wins for marriage equality opponents.

Things on the ground in Minnesota, however, aren’t quite going conservatives’ way.  Recently, Minnesota-based General Mills came out against the marriage amendment as unfair and discriminatory, and while Minnesota for Marriage made the accusation that “the Green Giant, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Kix and Trix have all declared war on Marriage” and called for a boycott of the company, that call has so far garnered little success.  General Mills has said publicly that the boycott has not hurt their business, drawing only 12,000 signatures nationwide.  An equal number signed an online petition thanking the company for speaking out.

Supporters of marriage equality have also been running a well-organized and deeply financed campaign, one that has significantly outraised opponents of equal marriage rights and secured the support of important public figures like Gov. Mark Dayton and the CEO of General Mills, as well as some religious leaders.

Just as importantly, the religious coalition that has often spoken out against marriage equality during state battles in the past has shown signs of fraying in Minnesota.  Although John Nienstedt, the Twin Cities Roman Catholic Archbishop, has warned clergy that there should be no “open dissension” regarding support of the marriage amendment, a group of 80 former Catholic priests from across the state released a statement opposing it in May.

As in other states, it would be unwise and premature to say that Minnesota is particularly favorable ground for marriage equality supporters in November.  But the Bangor Daily News article demonstrates just how much the marriage debate is shifting.  Even though we still face difficulties at the ballot box, we are seeing more and more support shifting to our side amongst groups that have historically been opposed to equal marriage rights.  If 2012 is the year the tide breaks for us, that will be a thrilling victory.  If not, we are still on the way to succeeding down the road.

7 Comments

  • 1. MightyAcorn  |  July 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I'm finding the open dissent within church ranks to be heartening. The opinions of their congregants are not as singular and party-line as religious organizations like to claim, and I appreciate that dissenters are taking the microphone and calling out the leadership.
    Maybe these feudally-structured organizations will finally be identified as the oppressors they are, not only politically for their bullying of women and LGBT people, but for their attempts to suppress the basic American right to opinion and dissent in their own membership. This week, as we celebrate our independence, I'm grateful for religious rebels who can shout out! Not that way everywhere on our planet, sadly. Happy Fourth, y'all.

  • 2. Jamie  |  July 2, 2012 at 8:53 am

    It's laughable that Catholics just ended the "fortnight for freedom" where they rallied and prayed for their rights to be protected, and the rights of anyone that disagrees with them to be eliminated. How embarrassing it must be to be a Catholic today.

  • 3. Bob  |  July 2, 2012 at 10:32 am

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/leaving-

    interesting article on divisions in Catholic Church and it's importance

  • 4. caden  |  July 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    The Catholic Church is bordering on irrelevancy in the United States. They have become a PAC for the anti-marriage equality amendment supporters. "Vote no or risk Hell" they say. Are they kidding? We are not 8 year olds, stuck in a catechism class! People have free will. It's also absurdly ironic that after the global sex-abuse scandal, they have the balls to come after GLBT people who want nothing more than to marry those they love…. because they think it's a sin. There are a lot of gay priests. I wish a few would talk to the media to combat the hierarchy's madness. I hope we will be the first in the nation to reject this amendment.

  • 5. Joe  |  July 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    *raises hand* Excuse me, but I'm not really sure what this will do. Sure it's intended to scare away GM, but it's an effort spent boycotting them instead of getting people out to vote. If the process takes longer than 4 months (which of course it will), then it was completely for naught…. no?

  • 6. Mike in Baltimore  |  July 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I 'like' how the author of that garbage argues out of both sides of his mouth throughout his pontification.

    And then when you look at a deeper level, he's saying that people should not leave the church because then the church will just get more intolerable and dogmatic in it's viewpoints. What he's really saying, in my opinion, is that when people leave the church, the RCC loses income, and thus it is weakened, so no one should leave the RCC.

  • 7. Michael  |  July 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I bought two 17 oz boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios and one bag of Oreos on Saturday.

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