President Barack Obama's May 9
announcement in support of gay marriage has fueled interest in
Minnesota's gay marriage debate.
Voters in the state will decide in
November whether to amend the Minnesota Constitution to define
marriage as a heterosexual union.
CNN quoted Richard Carlbom on Saturday
as saying that the number of volunteers signing up for Minnesotans
United for All Families, the umbrella group working to defeat the
measure, more than doubled the day after Obama's historic shift from
supporting civil unions to marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
Also energizing the campaign was
passage of Amendment One, North Carolina's gay marriage ban.
“[Obama's decision and North
Carolina's vote] was an incredible one-two punch for us in Minnesota
in terms of punching up the amount of energy,” Carlbom said.
Supporters of the amendment also said
the president's message has aided their cause.
“[President Obama's] comments …
alerted our base to the fact that there are politicians who are
trying to meddle with the definition of marriage,” Chuck Darrell,
communications director for Minnesota for Marriage, told the network.
“When they hear that they're motivated to get out and do something
to pass the marriage amendment.”
“That will energize them to make
phone calls, knock on doors, and make sure they turn out in
November,” added John Helmberger, the group's chairman.