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Minnesota for Marriage says it spent $200,000 lobbying to fight gay-marriage law

The group notes that Minnesotans United, which supported gay marriage, spent 10 times as much.

Minnesota for Marriage says it spent $200,000 lobbying against the gay-marriage bill that passed the Legislature this session.

The group says the money, spent from Jan. 1 to May 31, was raised soleloy from Minnesota donors.

The Legislature last month passed the bill legalizing gay marriage, and it was signed by Gov. Mark Dayton. It takes effect Aug. 1.

A major group supporting the law change, Minnesotans United for All Families, has said it spent about $2 million lobbying during the same period.

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John Helmberger, chairman of Minnesota for Marriage, said in a statement:

“It’s not surprising that they had to spend ten times more than traditional marriage supporters to convince legislators to redefine marriage and ignore their real First Amendment religious liberty concerns.  It’s proof that if you spend enough money you can get some legislators to do almost anything — even vote against the overwhelming wishes and interest of their constituents.”

The Pioneer Press said last month that Minnesotans United had 14 registered lobbyists, while Minnesota for Marriage had three.