The orange 'Vote No, Don't Limit The Freedom to Marry' signs seem to be on every street, sometimes popping up one right after the other, like little day-glow row houses occupying the front lawns of Minneapolis homes. The fight over amending the state constitution, even though Minnesota law already defines marriage as between one man and one woman, could be the most expensive in state history.
There have been virtually no lawn signs encouraging voters to vote 'Yes' on the marriage amendment, though there are billboards posted in urban areas around the state. In fact, only one yard sign could be witnessed. My next door neighbor. And it didn't stay there long.
The familiar orange signs began popping up in mid-Summer. The anti-amendment TV ads have been running for weeks now. In contrast, the neighbor's 'One Man, One Woman' sign showed up last week and ads telling me to vote for the amendment have only just begun airing. The anti-gay marriage campaign has reportedly already spend most of the $2 million it has raised. However, Minnesota for Marriage, like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), has been fighting hard to not disclose the names of donors and, indeed, has not provided the information despite NOM being ordered to comply with campaign finance laws by other states and courts.
This is what the Human Rights Campaign has to say on that in February (PDF):
Campaign finance reports released last week in Minnesota raise significant
and growing questions about how opponents of marriage equality are financing
ballot initiatives and whether they are deliberately violating public disclosure laws
– or experiencing historic fundraising failures that stretch believability. This
analysis – based on public data and emails obtained by the Human Rights
Campaign –attempts to crack open the routine secrecy of the anti-gay movement in
the Minnesota (and around the country). Anti-gay groups in Minnesota have
demonstrated a stunning lack of donor disclosure as required by law.
NOM says it won't disclose the required information because they fear their donors will be subjected to harassment and violence from gay activists, though some names have been made available in a recent disclosure.
The local media are reporting that Minnesotans are divided (with most having already decided how they'll vote) but they are also saying that the amendment will likely pass. This despite the anti-amendment supporters raising significantly more funds, reportedly $10 million. A recent poll that says 59% of voters will vote against the amendment but even with those numbers it still too close to call.
Amendments to Minnesota's constitution require a majority vote, which means voters that skip the question will be counted as 'No'.