Minnesotans for Marriage Bear False Witness

19 Oct
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Minnesotans United’s Pastor Grant Stevensen: M4M is “bearing false witness.

So we knew it was coming. Minnesotans (for Meddling in Other People’s) Marriage released a new ad scarily warning of the dire consequences of defeating the Amendment to Limit the Freedom to Marry. Those who oppose same-sex marriage will be persecuted! You know, that Unbearable Victimhood of Vote Yes.

You can see M4M’s ad here and on a television near you.

Thursday evening WCCO’s Pat Kessler did a “Reality Check” and found that “Amendment Ad Makes Questionable Claims.”

Questionable? Try downright false.

Minnesotans United for All Families hit back hard, holding a press conference featuring Pastor Grant Stevensen, who said Minnesotans for Marriage was “bearing false witness” in its efforts to persuade and confuse Minnesota voters. The campaign has helpfully (and very quickly) provided the following fact-check, which I’m printing here in its entirety. Take a look, to help you with those conversations we need to defeat this thing:

A new ad from Minnesota for Marriage, entitled, “Not Live and Let Live,” makes inaccurate claims about the impact of the hurtful, freedom-limiting marriage amendment. This ad is an intentional attempt to mislead Minnesotans into a “yes” vote on this amendment, citing claims that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Minnesotans know better. What this amendment is really about is limiting a basic freedom for some Minnesotans – the freedom to marry – just because of who they are. Marriage is about love, commitment and responsibility, and gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons to anyone else. None of us would want to be told it’s illegal to marry the person we love, but that’s exactly what this amendment would do. This amendment mixes religion and politics in our state constitution, and represents too much intrusion.

TELLING THE TRUTH: NOT LIVE AND LET LIVE

TRANSCRIPT: When same-sex marriage has been imposed elsewhere, it has not been live and let live. People who believe marriage is one man and one woman have faced consequences. Small businesses fined, individuals fired, charities closed down, churches sued. Same-sex marriage taught to young children in elementary school and parents have no legal right to be notified or to take their children out of class that day. We can prevent this from happening here by voting yes on the marriage protection amendment.

CLAIM

Minnesota for Marriage – “Not Live and Let Live”
00:01

“When same-sex marriage has been imposed elsewhere, it has not been live and let live.”

FACT: None of the claims in this ad have anything to do with the impact of this amendment or with marriage. A No vote on this amendment will not legalize same-sex marriage. There is already a law on the books in Minnesota prohibiting it.

In cases where people have acted in violation of state or federal anti-discrimination laws they have faced charges or civil complaints, as they would in any state – regardless of that state’s marriage laws.

00:05

“People who believe marriage is one man and one woman have faced consequences.”

FACT: None of the stories presented in this ad are as as a result of the belief in marriage for same-sex couples. Those who have acted in violation of state or federal anti-discrimination laws have faced charges as they would in any state – regardless of that state’s marriage laws.

00:10

“Small businesses fined, (Image of Wildflower Inn, Vermont)

FACT: The claim regarding the Wildflower Inn in Vermont is intentionally misleading. This occurrence has nothing to do with marriage laws in Vermont. A complaint regarding this incident was filed under the Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which states that public businesses and entities cannot discriminate or deny service based on race, sexual orientation, gender or any number of other factors.

00:12

“Individuals fired,”

FACT: While amendment proponents suggest that Mr. Goddard was fired for his public opposition to same-sex marriage, Mr. Goddard himself has admitted that it is entirely possible that his statement about marriage had nothing to do with his termination.

In fact, the network from which he was fired released a statement regarding their dismissal of Goddard that made no mention of his views on same-sex marriage. The statement read, “. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right for for our organization.”
00:13

“charities closed down”

FACT: The legalization of marriage for same-sex couples in Washington, D.C. had nothing to do with Catholic Charities decision to discontinue adoptions. Catholic Charities chose to discontinue their adoption program rather than obey long-standing non-discrimination laws.

Similar claims have been made about the Catholic Charities of Boston regarding their decision to end adoption services in 2006. The chair of their board at that time recently came forward to clarify that they stopped adoption services because the Vatican demanded it, saying, “People are suggesting that it had something to do with the [same-sex marriage law] that allowed for marriage equality. That’s not correct.”
00:15

“churches sued.”

FACT: This claim has nothing to do with the issue at hand here in Minnesota, and passing or defeating this amendment has nothing to do with such an accusation. Minnesota’s laws already protect people from discrimination and protect religious institutions from lawsuits.
00:16

“Same-sex marriage taught to young children in elementary school and parents have no legal right to be notified or to take their children out of class that day.”

FACT: This case has nothing to do with passing or defeating this amendment. This amendment is about limiting the freedom to marry here in Minnesota and
it has nothing to do with educational policy here or in Massachusetts. Additionally, we know that children are taught their most important values at home, from their families, not in schools.

The materials that were in the school were simply books that displayed the various forms that a loving family could take. The book featured gay parents, lesbian parents and single parents but made no reference to marriage in any way. The books were not required reading as a part of the Massachusetts educational curriculum.

00:25

“We can prevent this from happening here by voting yes on the marriage protection amendment.“

FACT: A yes vote on this amendment will do nothing to change existing state or federal anti-discrimination, employment or education policy laws. The MN Human Rights Act has prohibited discrimination by businesses and public entities based on sexual orientation since 1993.

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