Opponents of Minnesota's new same-sex marriage law released their lobbying report today, showing that they were outspent 10 to 1 by supporters of the bill to legalize gay marriage.
Autumn Leva of Minnesota for Marriage said her group raised $200,000, and had three registered lobbyists compared to 14 on the side advocating same-sex marriage. Minnesotans United For All Families, the group that supported same-sex marriage, has previously said it spent more than $2 million in a successful lobbying campaign that featured phone banks, television commercials and personal appeals to lawmakers.
"We know that the constituents we reached out to were very much involved. Many, many emails phone calls letters went through to legislators who then essentially ignored them," Leva said. "You know, I'm not sure even with a lot more money what could have been done with legislators who seemed determined to turn their back on constituents."
John Helmberger of Minnesota for Marriage says the spending disparity is, in his words, "proof that if you spend enough money you can get some legislators to do almost anything."
The campaign manager of Minnesotans United for All Families said same-sex marriage prevailed because a large number of people rallied around the belief that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. The group has formed a political action committee to help re-elect lawmakers who supported the bill, especially rural Democrats whose districts supported the amendment that would have banned same sex marriage.
"It's really not surprising the amount of money that went into that on our oppostion's side because it would take quite a bit of money to convince these legislators to go against the strong beliefs of their constituents, and to basically create a genderless state, which is what we've got now," Leva said.
Minnesota's same-sex marriage law takes effect on Aug. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report