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Marriage Amendment At Forefront Of Pride 2012

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is still months away. But the issue was front and center at this year’s Pride Weekend.

Those who want to defeat the amendment are using Pride as a way to grow support for one of the most unpredictable votes of the November election.

For Matt Abbott, this year’s Pride event is more than a celebration of the GLBT community. It is a place where you will hear discussion of the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

“Passing this amendment and limiting their freedom to call their marriage a marriage and limiting their church’s freedom to perform that same marriage doesn’t bode well with me,” said Abbott.

As one of hundreds of volunteers for Minnesotans United for all Families, Matt is gathering signatures and support for those hoping to defeat the amendment.

“Getting something in folks hands…makes it real,” said Abbott.

With less than five months until Minnesota voters cast their ballot, both sides are relying heavily a grass roots effort for donations.

The latest financial report shows the lead group against gay marriage has raised $1.4 million. Minnesotans United for All Families has raised $4.6 million.

Kate Brickman of Minnesotans United for All Families said local donations are carrying the cause financially.

“In terms of looking at those financial numbers, more than 85 percent of our donations came from Minnesotans,” said Brickman.

Money may fuel the campaign, but conversation could make the difference.

“This is really just an incredible opportunity to galvanize all the hundreds of thousands of people who are going to be here to talk to them about the amendment,” said Brickman.

The impact of a face to face meeting is undeniable, but the reaction will not be known until November.

Minnesota for Marriage did not return WCCO’s calls for comment, but they did release a statement about the finance report.

They acknowledged that gay rights groups will outspend them, saying: “We don’t have to match our opponents spending; we only need to mobilize people who believe marriage should be protected.”

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