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Over Pronto Pups, Marriage Fight Foes Woo Voters

Minnesotans United for All Families and Minnesota For Marriage are both jockeying for attention on Cooper Street at the Minnesota State Fair.

Foreshadowing what could be a close vote this November, the main groups rallying for and against a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota are within shouting distance at the State Fair.

Minnesotans United for All Families, which opposes the amendment, and Minnesota for Marriage, which supports it, are both jockeying for hearts and minds with booths on Cooper Street between Wright and Dan Patch avenues.

Casey Warren, of Bloomington, said on Wednesday that she came out to support the amendment because of her 47-year marriage and six children. She worries what effect gay marriage will have on generations to come.

“To me it’s about the children. If you allow the children to be part of same sex parents, they’re going to be affected in big ways,” Warren said. 

Warren, who volunteered at the Minnesota for Marriage booth with her husband, said she’s a Republican but not active in the party—although she is active in her church. But she worked at the fair because she wanted to ensure marriage remains between a man and a woman.

“As we’ve seen with other states, judges have seen fit to overturn those statutes,” she said.

Down the way, Jay Pearson of St. Louis Park said he's fighting against the amendment because of his own long-term relationship. He's been with his partner for 42 years.

“Marriage isn’t a romantic thing for us, it’s a benefits thing,” Pearson said, adding that as he and his partner age, he wants to make sure there aren't obstacles to taking care of each other.

Pearson said he's been encouraged by the conversations he's had with fair-goers.

“It’s really heart-filling to see the positive support we’re getting at the fair,” he said.

So far, the proximity of the two booths hasn't caused any problems. Warren said she hadn’t seen exchanges between amendment proponents and opponents spark any incidents—adding that most of the group’s opponents were civil. Barb Maresh, a Blaine resident who touts her 55-year marriage and six children, said they don’t bear the other side ill will.

“We don’t dislike these people. We don’t have bad feelings about them. I have people in my family that are (homosexual),” Maresh said.  

Pearson and Stephen Schreiber, who is a communications assistant with Minnesotans United, say it's an issue of equality.

“We know same-sex couples want to get married for the same reasons as everyone else,” Schreiber said.

A June poll from Public Policy Polling shows that 49 percent of Minnesota voters are opposed to the measure and 43 percent support it.

Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Once again, civil contracts in court so we all stand equal under the law, marriage ceremonies in the houses of faith, so each can practice their own.
Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 04:31 AM
And also, all this argument over something that is already illegal. Meanwhile, this state has a TERRIBLE problem with sex-trafficking and slavery. And speaking of marriage, how about the woman who murdered her five children in St. Paul all those years ago, and nobody seemed to notice that when her husband married her overseas, she had to be maybe THIRTEEN! If we're going to argue about these issues, maybe we need to stop worrying about what two consenting adults are doing, and worry about those who need our help.
Smokin' Joe September 03, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Seems so simple. I suspect that if you put your question to the vast majority that you'd be right, that nobody would care what people do amongst themselves. There is, however, a fear of creating yet one more protected class whose goal is not equal treatment but preferential treatment. Many of my gay friends are not only pursuing equality under the law, they're pushing for a mandated societal change of attitude where their lifestyle is "celebrated" and they're accorded status as a protected class. While I'm happy that they're happy, I could do without the celebration. I'm not thrilled when heterosexual couples "celebrate" their lifestyle in public either. I really don't want my kids to be taught in a public school that it is simply another lifestyle. And yet by teaching them that a traditional family is a worthy goal I'm supposedly engaging in hate speech. Well I don't hate anyone for their sexual preferences, and even worse for the labelers, I don't care about their sexual preferences. All of this celebration needs to go back in the bedroom where it belongs. Whether you're married or not really isn't the measure of a relationship and all of the legal issues can be accomplished with simple contracts. If you're angry because the tax implications aren't fair that's really too bad, and we have a lot in common.
Put a little love in your heart September 06, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Wishing the best now and in the future to everyone in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and the World. I have nothing but great things to say about them all. Wishing you Joy and Happiness every day of your life. Let’s all get along, in PEACE and HARMONY and the World will be a better place. Put A Little Love In Your Heart Think of your fellow man Lend him a helping hand Put a little love in your heart You see it's getting late Oh please don't hesitate Put a little love in your heart And the world will be a better place And the world will be a better place For you and me You just wait and see Another day goes by And still the children cry Put a little love in your heart If you want the world to know We won't let hatred grow Put a little love in your heart And the world will be a better place And the world will be a better place For you and me You just wait and see Wait and see Take a good look around And if you're looking' down Put a little love in your heart I hope when you decide Kindness will be your guide Put a little love in your heart And the world will be a better place And the world will be a better place For you and me You just wait and see Put a little love in your heart, Put a little love in your heart, Put a little love in your heart
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