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National Organization for Marriage vows to spend $500K to defeat GOP legislators who vote for gay marriage

Minnesota legislators who may face a vote on legalizing gay marriage have a new consideration on the issue.

In addition to listening to their consciences and constituents, they now have word from the National Organization for Marriage that the national group will spend $500,000 to defeat any Republican legislator who votes for gay marriage.

And the group will support any DFL legislators who vote against it.

“Marriage is not a partisan issue, and NOM does not hesitate to oppose weak Republicans and support strong Democrats,” said Brian Brown, NOM president.

The group is initially targeting GOP state Sen. Branden Petersen, who last week said he’s planning to co-sponsor a gay marriage bill.

“Republicans like Branden Petersen don’t realize that not only is voting to redefine marriage a terrible policy, it is also a career-ending vote for a Republican,” Brown said in a statement. “NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage. Legislators need look no further than what happened to GOP Senators in New York. Four of them were responsible for passing gay marriage. We helped take out three of those Senators by repeatedly informing their constituents of their betrayal on marriage. They are now out of office. We will not hesitate to do the same thing in Minnesota.”

While announcing the stance he expects Republican legislators to take, Brown urged DFLers not to listen to their party leaders.

“We urge Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature to vote their values, and not what their party bosses tell them. Standing for true marriage is the right thing to do for Minnesota families, and especially for children. The fact is that Minnesota children, and all children, have a right to expect laws that promote them being raised by a mother and father. We will support those legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike, who vote for Minnesota family values, just as we have done in other states.”

The group says its state political fund spent $2.2 million in the an effort to pass a state constitutional amendment that was defeated by voters in November.

Comments (14)

  1. Submitted by Derek Reise on 02/25/2013 - 01:38 pm.

    That is laughable threat

    Does he realize that Minnesota state senate districts only have an average of 43,600 likely voters? One doesn’t need to spend half a million to ID and persuade enough voters to swing an election. It would be much cheaper. Also, any such incumbent defeats are going to happen at the endorsement or primary level and would be driven by local activists in any case.

    Nevermind that the next state senate elections are 3.5 years away. It would be an irrational investment from NOM to single out a couple legislators 3 years after they lost the fight against marriage equality. Consider all the other states they will be involved in then.

    It could be that some state legislators lose their seats over a marriage equality vote, but not due to any involvement from NOM.

  2. Submitted by Ned turnbuckle on 02/25/2013 - 01:56 pm.

    “NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage. Legislators need look no further than what happened to GOP Senators in New York. Four of them were responsible for passing gay marriage. We helped take out three of those Senators by repeatedly informing their constituents of their betrayal on marriage. They are now out of office. We will not hesitate to do the same thing in Minnesota.”———Is gay marriage still legal in NY? Yes. I have nothing but respect for a person that would risk their political career because they did the right thing and defended the freedom of the people. The fact is that gay marriage is still legal in NY regardless of how much money this extremist group spends on purchasing citizens who are supposed to represent all the people – not just one extremist religious group. Like slavery this legislation will not be reversed. Not ever and more states will approve gay marriage and those will also never be reversed. Not ever.

    These people could better spend their money on helping get children out of poverty but instead they worry about relationships between consenting adults when it’s absolutely none of their business. Don’t want a gay marriage? Don’t have one but don’t take freedom from others.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 02/25/2013 - 02:58 pm.

    To All Those Folks Who Give Money to NOM

    (well, actually, previous records show that the majority of NOM’s support comes form a very small group of very wealthy “conservative” donors)…

    your money would be much better spent paying for training for your clergy members and other “conservative” marriage counselors to gain the knowledge of human nature and the communication and counseling skills they would need,…

    to actually be successful at counseling “conservative” couples in how to stay married.

    In this way, you would actually be doing something to preserve and protect actual marriage.

    But then, I suspect if you were honest with yourselves, you’d realize that you really aren’t interested in protecting marriages such as your own. You’re only interested in making sure people of whom you disapprove,…

    God’s creation of and love for those people not withstanding,…

    from solemnizing their own natural form of love in a “marriage.”

    In fact, you can likely measure the insecurity you feel about your own marriage and the marriages of your friends and neighbors, by how fervently you feel threatened by the idea that others who are not like you might be allowed to marry, too.

  4. Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 02/25/2013 - 03:08 pm.

    How sad …

    Just think of how many hungry children could be fed with half a million dollars. How many battered women and their children could be sheltered. How many childhood vaccinations it could pay for. There’s so much in the world that really needs attention and these people are wasting time and money on something that’s nothing more than meanness of spirit toward others.

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 02/25/2013 - 03:37 pm.

    In any other context

    we’d call it blackmail.

  6. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/25/2013 - 03:43 pm.

    “Career ending”

    The idealist in me likes to think that this will not be important. Surely, our elected representatives will cast their votes according to their consciences, and will always strive to do what is right. The threats of out-of-state lobbying groups should be just so much more background noise. Yes?

  7. Submitted by Todd Adler on 02/25/2013 - 04:11 pm.


    So, is this group also against divorce laws? When are they going to spend $500,000 to get those laws repealed?

  8. Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 02/25/2013 - 04:16 pm.


    The folks from NOM are acting like bullies. During the last election they tried to gang up on the gay kids on the playground. Now they are threatening the Minnesotans who are standing up for the rights of their fellow citizens. Nice to see Senator Petersen standing up against out of state bullies. This is what leadership looks like.

  9. Submitted by C B on 02/25/2013 - 07:52 pm.

    At what point…

    …does promising to give money to a politician for a particular vote rise to the level of bribery?

  10. Submitted by brian o on 02/26/2013 - 12:56 pm.


    Government has no business legislating anything about marriage. Create civil unions for all legal purposes (e.g. health benefits, tax benefits, etc…) require all couples to obtain a ‘civil union license’ to be eligible for the benfits. Let the churches decide who they will allow to marry and do NOT make obtaining a ‘civil union license’ contingent upon being ‘married’ as defined by churches.

    Win, win, win. All couples get the same benefits. The government gets their fees for issusing licenses. Churches get to decide marriage based on their own belief system.

    • Submitted by Tom Clark on 02/26/2013 - 03:52 pm.


      but the validity of my own civil marriage isn’t affected by what ANY church has to say about it, which is the way it should be. Same-sex couples shouldn’t be singled out for unequal treatment, and there’s no reason to change how we currently handle civil marriage in order to treat them fairly.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/01/2013 - 12:13 pm.

        DIfferent interpretation

        I interpreted Brian’s comment differently than you did, I think.

        What I understood him to be proposing was that ALL couples – same sex AND opposite sex – would apply for “civil union” licenses which – when granted – would afford the list of benefits currently and traditionally thought of to be conferred by what we currently call marriage. But that the word “marriage” no longer applies to that contract, even though it’s the same thing – just under a new name and handled exclusively by governmental agencies.

        Then – as I understand Brian’s comment – couples who wish to become “married” in the eyes of their church can have their church “marry” them, but this union is religious in nature only and confers no legal benefits or responsibilities. And each church can decide according to their theological framework who they are willing to “marry”.

        But the legal part (the part now called “civil union”) becomes available to ALL couples, confers all rights and responsibilities to them, and is entirely separate from what any given church decides to do.

        Does that interpretation change your reaction at all?

        • Submitted by Tom Clark on 03/01/2013 - 04:00 pm.

          I understand the interpretation

          it’s that I see absolutely no need to make such a change in the first place. Currently churches are free to voluntarily not agree to give their blessing as it is, and if a divorced couple can’t get married in a Catholic Church, they still can legally wed. If we haven’t bothered to make a change to civil unions from civil marriage despite that, then the only reason I can see no good reason for doing so with respect to same-sex couples.

        • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/04/2013 - 02:25 pm.


          This was my interpretation, as well. I absolutely agree with this suggestion. I’m ok with churches having exclusive rights to “marry” people, while the state regulates civil unions. However, I’m only ok with it if ALL churches, including those who will happily marry gay people, get to own the word.

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