MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Some well-known Minnesotans gathered Saturday to discuss why they oppose the state’s marriage amendment.

The event was a fundraiser for “Minnesotans United for All Families”. It was also a way to show the stance that prominent writers are taking on the issue. Each of them wrote a short speech about how the issue is personal.

The ballot issue would change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage in the state. If it passes it would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Former WCCO anchor Don Shelby was one of many Minnesota authors who spoke up Saturday against the amendment.

“I decided to write from the point of view of my history,” Shelby said.

He joined the group on Saturday to inform people of the issue. After all of his years as an impartial journalist, Shelby says he can finally speak up for what he believes.

“I personally don’t want to sway a person’s opinion because of whatever gravitas that I might bring or popularity I might bring. I would only like to sway the vote if it makes sense. That’s all I’ve ever wanted people to do. I’ve always been a reporter who wanted to say, ‘Know this and proceed'”, he said.

But Chuck Darrell of Minnesotans for Marriage, a group supporting the marriage amendment, doesn’t think Shelby’s message will actually resonate with voters. He thinks most will look to church leaders for their guidance.

“This is a question. Not just about a newscaster’s celebrity status. It’s a moral question. It’s about the foundation of society, the bedrock of family. And when it comes down to those things, they go to their faith leaders,” Darrell said.

Clergy from several denominations, including Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt, gathered on the steps of the state capitol earlier this week. They launched the effort to vote “yes” for the amendment.

Several other influential figures, including Garrison Keillor, Wheelock Whitney and former governor Jesse Ventura, have also publically announced their stance against the marriage amendment.

On Sunday, there are “house parties” scheduled across the state – all in opposition to the amendment.

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