“It permanently singles out and excludes gay and lesbian couples from the love, commitment and responsibility that marriage brings,” he said. He added that “no one wants to be told it’s illegal to marry the person you love.”
The two new ads are the first on TV from gay marriage opponents in any of the four states with the issue on the ballot this fall — Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington. Schubert, the country’s leading political strategist for campaigns against gay marriage, is leading his side’s effort in all four states.
In previous TV ads he produced in California in 2008 and other states, Schubert raised concerns that state-sanctioned gay marriage could expose children to influences and beliefs not approved by their parents. Neither of the Minnesota ads resurrect those claims, which often outraged gay activists and their allies.
Schubert said the Minnesota campaign hopes to air more ads. He wouldn’t say what future ads might include but that “we’re certainly going to be talking about what would happen if marriage were to be redefined.”
That could depend on the group’s fundraising in the five weeks to Election Day. The $175,000 ad buy is more than a third of Minnesota for Marriage’s $484,000 still in the bank as of Sept. 18, according to a state financial disclosure report. Leaders of Minnesota’s Catholic diocese, allied with Minnesota for Marriage, last week sent a letter to 400,000 Catholic households asking for donations to Minnesota for Marriage so it could broadcast more commercials.
The group continues to raise funds aggressively, Schubert said. They “poured everything we have into these initial ads and are working hard to raise the funds we need to finish the campaign,” he said.
Minnesotans United has maintained a financial advantage, raising millions more overall and keeping $266,000 more in the bank as of Sept. 18 after making a $1 million down payment on TV airtime earlier in the year.
If passed, the gay marriage amendment would toughen the state’s existing statutory ban on gay marriage by putting it in the constitution. A Star Tribune poll of 800 likely voters taken in mid-September found a dead heat with the poll’s margin of error, with 49 percent in support, 47 percent against and 4 percent undecided.