News (USA)

NOM threatens GOP lawmakers in Minn. who vote for same-sex marriage

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The National Organization for Marriage on Monday said it will spend $500,000 to defeat Republican lawmakers in Minnesota who vote to legalize same-sex marriage.

The NOM previously contributed more than $2 million to last fall’s failed campaign to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota’s constitution.

Bills to legalize marriage equality are likely to be introduced at Minnesota’s Capitol this week.

One Republican senator, Branden Petersen, already says he’ll support it. But the National Organization of Marriage says that’s a “career-ending” vote for Republicans.

NOM has previously helped fund conservative primary challengers to Republicans in other states who voted in favor same-sex marriage.

“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,” said NOM President Brian Brown, in a statement.

Petersen, 27, admitted last week that his decision to support a marriage equality bill could be politically damaging in the next election cycle.

“I think the time has come,” Petersen told The Associated Press, and said he said he hoped his support would sway not just his fellow Republicans wavering on the issue, but Minnesotans in general that it’s OK to support gay marriage.

NOM says it will also financially support Democrats who vote against legalizing gay marriage.

Last year, the NOM spent upwards of $5.7 million to defeat marriage equality initiatives in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, in addition to the Minnesota marriage amendment; voters in all fours states soundly rejected NOM’s anti-gay messaging.

“NOM’s threats to kick Republicans out of office – whether in New York two years ago or in Illinois earlier this month – are empty,” said Kevin Nix, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, in a statement last month.

“It’s nothing but bluster aimed to instill fear in lawmakers. NOM’s become nothing but a paper tiger,” said Nix.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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