By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com July 20 2012 7:10 PM ET
Opponents of the Minnesota constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage have raised six times as much money as the amendment’s supporters so far this year.
Minnesotans United for All Families, which is working against the amendment, raised about $3.8 million from January 1 to July 10, according to financial documents filed with the state this week, the Associated Press reports. The measure’s backing group, Minnesota for Marriage, brought in just $620,000 in that period. The two groups’ total fund-raising amounts to $5.4 million and $1.5 million respectively.
Both groups expressed optimism that their side will win at the polls in November. “Various studies elsewhere have shown that for all the millions spent in marriage amendment campaigns, there aren’t a lot of minds that are changed,” Minnesota for Marriage chairman John Helmberger told Minnesota Public Radio. “It’s mainly one of voter turnout.”
Said Kate Brickman, a spokeswoman for Minnesotans United for All Families: “Since the beginning, we’ve had a really vigorous grassroots campaign — knocking on doors, calling people on the phone, having lots of events — so the money helps us continue and sustain that.” The group has 75 paid staffers, while Minnesota for Marriage has just a handful, according to the AP.
Meanwhile, there will be a state Supreme Court hearing later this month on the title under which the amendment will appear on the ballot. Republican legislators and Minnesota for Marriage originally titled it “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman,” but Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat, changed that to “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples.” Proponents say the latter title may make citizens more inclined to vote against it, and they want the court to restore the original title.