No Southwest Minneapolis residents donated to the Minnesotans for Marriage campaign, which is working to pass a constitutional amendment in Minnesota banning same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, 52 area residents donated to a group fighting the amendment.
According to campaign finance statements released Wednesday, Southwest residents contributed $31,413 to Minnesotans United for All Families. Prominent Southwest donors included Linden Hills resident James Pohlad, a member of the same family who owns the Minnesota Twins. He was one of the few large donors, contributing $10,000. In addition, donated $846.
“We're most excited about how low our average contribution was—about $152 without factoring in in-kind donations,” said Jake Loesch, spokesperson for Minnesotans United. The number, Loesch said, showed broad support for their cause. Loesch said the Minnesotans United campaign wasn’t deterred by the paltry $7,518 collected from religious institutions around the state.
The Catholic Church has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign to pass the amendment. Minnesotans for Marriage, the campaign committee pushing the amendment, reported receiving $350,000 from a fund affiliated with the Minnesota Catholic Conference. The donations made up more than 40 percent of the $830,109 the group collected in 2011. According to the Star-Tribune, the Church tapped investments to generate the cash.
“We’re quite happy with our fundraising efforts to date,” said Chuck Darrell, spokesperson for Minnesotans for Marriage. “It sends a strong signal of support for our efforts going forwards.”
The huge infusion of religious money on one side—complemented by $226,000 from the socially conservative Minnesota Family Council and $250,000 from the equally conservative National Organization for Marriage—stood in stark contrast to amendment opponents.
Around 75 percent of the $1.2 million collected by Minnesotans United For All Families came from Minnesota residents, nearly all of whom were small donors. By contrast, only eight private donors gave to the Minnesotans for Marriage campaign. The largest contributions to Minnesotans United’s coffers came from the national pro-gay organization Freedom to Marry, which donated $178,000.