Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Opponents of gay marriage say they are not giving up. As many same-sex couples legally tied the knot on Thursday, they announced a major initiative to oust Minnesota House members who voted for legalizing marriage equality.
The initiative was announced by Minnesota for Marriage. Their goal is to target those representatives who voted to legalize gay marriage but whose districts voted strongly in favor of last year’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
“We will focus on those districts were constituents are reaching out to us, where we have the most contacts, where we can make a difference,” Minnesota for Marriage’s Autumn Leva said.
The amendment legalizing same-sex marriage passed the Minnesota House by a vote of 75-59. The initiative will eventually target 7 to 9 House members, many of them Democrats from conservative outstate Districts.
“The main focus right now is to help these folks find better representation, which is what they need. Right now they are feeling disenfranchised,” Leva said.
On Thursday, the National Organization for Marriage announced they will contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to help defeat targeted legislators.
The Minnesota Family Council said they will also provide outreach and even legal help for citizens who are opposed to the gay unions. For example, they are promising to provide legal aid to any wedding-related business that refuses to provide services to same sex couples.
“What we are going to be doing going forward is working with constituents, small business owners, churches, pastors and help them understand what they can and can’t do under the new laws,” Chuck Darrell said.
Minnesota for Marriage said it will take a few months to come up with the list of legislators they will target for defeat but they did name two Democrats who will be on the list — Tim Faust of Hinckley and Jay McNamar of Elbow Lake. Those representatives voted to legalize gay marriage.
WCCO-TV reached out to both and did not hear back from either.