The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 1, 2012

Gay marriage opponents debuting first two Minn. TV ads

MINNEAPOLIS — The group promoting a constitutional ban on gay marriage in Minnesota is debuting its first two TV ads of a heated campaign today, one that argues it’s important to keep the traditional definition of marriage between opposite sex couples only and another that mentions several ways that definition could be changed through legal or judicial means.

Minnesota for Marriage campaign manager Frank Schubert told The Associated Press the group is spending about $175,000 to air the two ads throughout October. With their chief rival campaign already on TV the last two weeks, the ads signal the five-week homestretch for the multimillion-dollar political battle over gay marriage in Minnesota.

Both ads avoid an aggressive tone, with one featuring a narrator who says that “everyone has a right to love who they choose.” But together they argue that male-female marriage has been a building block of society for centuries, and that inserting that definition into Minnesota’s constitution would prevent judges or elected officials from changing it without the OK of voters.

“Marriage is more than a commitment between two loving people,” an unseen narrator says in one ad, over images of straight couples getting married, raising children and showing affection. “It was made by God, for the creation and care of the next generation.”

Minnesotans United for All Families, the group trying to defeat the amendment, has run two TV commercials so far. One features a heterosexual Minnesota couple talking about how they oppose the amendment thanks to the influence of a gay couple in their neighborhood that they got to know. Another features a man who calls his own marriage the most important thing in his life, and says the state’s constitution shouldn’t deny that to anyone.

Describing the content of the new ads, Minnesotans United campaign manager Richard Carlbom declined to issue specific criticisms and instead argued against the amendment’s passage. Carlbom said putting a gay marriage ban in the constitution “would limit the freedom to marry for some Minnesotans just because of who they are.”

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