The National Organization for Marriage is once again exercising its muscle in order to try to get its way, promising $500,000 to campaign against Republicans who support marriage equality in Minnesota and support Democrats who oppose it. NOM claimed victory for this tactic in New York, even though only one of the four candidates they campaigned against was actually replaced by someone who agrees with their position. In a press release announcing the commitment to bullying, NOM’s Brian Brown specifically called out Sen. Branden Petersen (R) for endorsing the marriage equality effort, claiming that the issue is all about protecting children:
BROWN: Republicans like Branden Petersen don’t realize that not only is voting to redefine marriage a terrible policy, it is also a career-ending vote for a Republican. NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage. Legislators need look no further than what happened to GOP Senators in New York. Four of them were responsible for passing gay marriage. We helped take out three of those Senators by repeatedly informing their constituents of their betrayal on marriage. They are now out of office. We will not hesitate to do the same thing in Minnesota.
We urge Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature to vote their values, and not what their party bosses tell them. Standing for true marriage is the right thing to do for Minnesota families, and especially for children. The fact is that Minnesota children, and all children, have a right to expect laws that promote them being raised by a mother and father. We will support those legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike, who vote for Minnesota family values, just as we have done in other states. Marriage is not a partisan issue, and NOM does not hesitate to oppose weak Republicans and support strong Democrats.
As always, NOM completely ignores the many children already being raised by same-sex couples who would benefit if their parents could marry. A Williams Institute study of the 2010 Census estimated that there are over 1,600 same-sex couples already raising children in Minnesota, a third of whom identify as spouses. There are at least an additional 8,500 couples who would benefit from the legal protections marriage affords. NOM’s bullying tactics are deplorable enough, but scapegoating children under the guise of “family values” is that much worse.