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MN for Marriage says money a big reason it lost marriage fight

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Same-sex marriage opponents prayed at the state Capitol on Monday, May 13, 2013. (MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson )

Minnesota for Marriage, the group that unsuccessfully lobbied to defeat a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, says it was vastly outspent by supporters of same sex marriage.

The group issued a news release today saying it spent more than $200,000 between Jan. 1 and May 31 to lobby against the same-sex marriage bill. Minnesota for Marriage Chair John Helmberger said in a statement that the bill became law because they were outspent by Minnesotans United – which worked to pass the bill.

“It’s not surprising that they had to spend 10 times more than traditional marriage supporters to convince legislators to redefine marriage and ignore their real First Amendment religious liberty concerns,” Helmberger said. “It’s proof that if you spend enough money you can get some legislators to do almost anything - even vote against the overwhelming wishes and interest of their constituents.”

The bill to legalize same-sex marriage was the most closely watched of the 2013 session. Thousands of people rallied at the state Capitol in support of and opposition to the bill when the House and Senate voted.

Minnesotans United spent more than $2 million to lobby for the bill.

The campaign manager for Minnesotans United said the bill became law because a large number of people rallied around the belief that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“If they would have had the same amount of money that we had, the outcome would have been the same,” Richard Carlbom said.

All groups that lobbied the Legislature have to submit a form to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board by Monday detailing their expenses. The board will make the information public on Tuesday morning.