Minnesotans United debuts video highlighting religious support for freedom to marry

"A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar..." So begins the well-known joke that usually ends in an inappropriate punchline. But last week, Minnesotans United for All Families employed the humorous conceit for thier latest video, which urges Minnesota voters that banning the freedom to marry in the state's constitution is not compatible with religious ideals.

For months, Minnesotans United has been working to combat a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in the state. Minnesota already has a state statute prohibiting marriage for same-sex couples. Minnesotans will vote on the amendment in November.

The new video, "No Joke," is a humorous way to relay this important message.  

In the video, after the priest, minister, and rabbi walk into the bar, the bartender asks, "You guys are joking, right?"

"No we're serious," replies real-life Episcopal Deacon Rex McKee. "Seriously against limiting Minnesotan's freedom to marry."

Joined by Rabbi Michael Latz and Lutheran Pastor Jim Erlandson, the trio tells the bartender to "let churches decide for themselves who they marry - not government" and then urge him to vote "NO" on the permanent government ban.

The question will read:

Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Minnesota?

Four states will be facing ballot initiatives this fall - voters in Washington and Maryland will be asked whether they wish to approve the already-passed freedom to marry laws in their states, while Maine pushes proactively to approve the freedom to marry. To help further their campaigns, each state has been incorporating video advertisements in order to appeal to a range of audiences to gain additional support.

Last week the Pride Foundation debuted a video in Washington featuring former Republican state senator Cheryl Pflug discussing how her commitment to freedom and conservative values fuels her support for the freedom to marry.

"As a Republican, I believe in freedom," Pflug says in the video. "And that includes the freedom to marry the person you love."

Why Marriage Matters Maine Project, which is funded by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, also began running a commercial on television last week. Theirs features 90-year-old World War II veteran Harlan, who speaks about why he supports his lesbian granddaughter and her freedom to marry her partner Alex.

Watch the Maine ad here, and the Washington ad here, and take a look at the Minnesota video below: