Minnesotans United for All Families receives a diverse range of endorsements
June 14, 2012
In the past few weeks, Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition working to oppose an anti-gay ballot initiative in the state, has racked up a wide range of endorsements. From the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education to General Mills to the Governor of Minnesota, the state's residents are speaking out on why marriage matters.
In November, Minnesota will face a ballot measure that asks voters to approve an amendment to constitutionally define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. The state already has a law that prohibits marriage between same-sex couples, but the amendment would write discrimination into the state's constitution.
Yesterday, General Mills, a Fortune 500 Company based in Golden Valley, MN, announced their opposition to the proposed amendment. Previously, they had been contacted by the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, who asked the company to remain "neutral." Minnesotans United for All Families has set up an online "thank you" petition where marriage supporters can voice their appreciation for General Mills' support.
General Mills' endorsement is the latest in a long string of pro-marriage comments from corporations, who realize that anti-gay legislation and policy hurts their employees and hurts their company. These sorts of amendments interfere with business' ability to treat their employees fairly, specifically in terms of health insurance benefits, retirement protections, and visa rights.
This week, the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education also declared their opposition to the constitutional amendment. The board voted unanimously to support same-sex couples by condemning the attempt to restrict the freedom to marry for committed same-sex couples in Minnesota. The resolution they passed will go a long way in showing that a statewide policy of discrimination can only damage families.
Last week, Andrew and Eric Dayton, the sons of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, announced a challenge grant for MN United, pledging to match up to $200,000 for the organization's efforts in combatting the amendment. Their financial support is in step with vocal support from Gov. Dayton, who has been committed to fairness for all couples for many years.
Next week, Governor Dayton will host the first-ever MN Pride Reception, underlining his advocacy for the freedom to marry.
Freedom to Marry is thrilled to see such diverse support for the freedom to marry in Minnesota. When powerful voices express their opposition to discrimination, their words carry significant weight and reach out to sectors of the population that may not have otherwise considered supporting the freedom to marry. We applaud General Mills and the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education for announcing their opposition to the anti-gay amendment, and we thank Gov. Dayton and his family for their continuing support of same-sex couples in their state. We must continue amplifying these voices, helping all Americans understand that the freedom to marry strengthens families and helps build stronger communities.