The National Organization For Marriage
(NOM) has launched a campaign opposing gay marriage in Minnesota.
The nation's most vocal opponent of
giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry began Tuesday
airing a statewide television ad urging voters to call on lawmakers
to take up the issue of defining marriage as a heterosexual union in
the Minnesota Constitution.
Calling Minnesota “the next key
battleground state,” the group said it would spend $200,000 in the
“Many Minnesotans are unaware that
special interest groups are working to convince activist judges and
DFL [Democratic-Farmer-Labor] lawmakers to redefine marriage in the
state,” Brian Brown, president of NOM, said in a statement.
The first ad takes aim at four
prominent candidates running for governor who support gay marriage:
former state Rep. Matt Entenza, independent candidate Tom Horner,
former state Senator Mark Dayton and state Rep. Margaret
“Leading DFL and independent
candidates for governor support homosexual marriage,” a male
announcer says in the ad. “And most DFL lawmakers don't want you
to have a say. When they ask for your support, ask them if they'll
guarantee your right to vote on marriage.”
The campaign arrives just days after
three gay couples announced they were suing the state for the right
to marry. The couples are challenging the state's 1997 Defense of
Marriage Act,which defines marriage as a heterosexual union.
State lawmakers have also introduced
gay marriage bills.
The campaign was praised by Tom
Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, a group that
opposes gay marriage.
“We welcome NOM to Minnesota and
appreciate their efforts to inform Minnesotans on the serious threat
to marriage in our state,” he said. “Marriage bonds mothers and
fathers to one another and children to their parents. The well-being
of society is at stake when the institution of marriage is attacked.”
NOM is also spending heavily in
California, where the group first made its mark leading the effort to
pass the state's gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, in 2008. In a
$300,000 media buy, the group attacks former Congressman Tom Campbell
who is running for the GOP nomination for the US Senate, calling him
and his Democratic rival Senator Barbara Boxer “two peas, same
liberal pod” because they both support gay marriage.
Over the past year, the group has also
influenced races in New York, Massachusetts and Iowa, where it
supported candidates based on the single issue of gay marriage, at
times over the objection of the Republican Party.
“Our goal is not to necessarily elect
Republicans,” Brown told The Associated Press. “Our goal
is to elect candidates who will stand up and protect marriage.”