New 'Vote Yes' ad claims 'consequences' would follow failure - FOX 35 News Orlando

New 'Vote Yes' ad claims 'consequences' would follow failure

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The fight over the proposed marriage amendment is one of the most controversial and expensive in Minnesota's history, but what's been seen so far may just be the tip of the iceberg as both sides begin to make their final pitches to voters.

Both campaigns are expected to rake in millions in the final days of the campaign. A lot of that money will likely go into advertisements, but there's one new ad that's already getting a lot of attention.

Though advocates on both sides of the issue say they are still working the same strategies, it seems that a different debate is taking shape. So far, the televised ads have been pretty tame, but the tone may be changing.

"People who believe marriage is between one man and one woman have faced consequences," the latest 'Vote Yes' ad says. "Small businesses fined, individuals fired, charities closed."

Minnesota for Marriage is behind the controversial new ad, which claims that non-supporters of gay marriage have been fined -- even fired -- in states where same-sex marriage has been legalized.

"It's something people have a right to know," said Chuck Darrell, of Minnesota for Marriage. "People in Minnesota have a right to know what the consequences are when same-sex marriage is legalized."

Meanwhile, the "Vote No" campaign is swinging back, saying the ad makes false claims that are purposefully misleading -- especially since voting against the amendment would not legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

Pastor Grant Stevensen told FOX 9 News the ad intends to confuse voters about the real issue.

"The amendment that we're voting on in Minnesota has to do with changing the Constitution," he said. "That permanently limits the freedom to marry."

The amendment on the ballot would define marriage as between a man and a woman only, but supporters say they fear legalizing gay marriage would be the next step if the amendment fails.

As the ballot battle heats up, more campaign cash is expected to pour in. The latest campaign finance records show the "Vote No" effort has raked in nearly $6 million, while the "Vote Yes" campaign has collected $1.2 million.

In other states, pro-amendment coffers have multiplied closer to the election. So far, a report from the Human Rights Campaign -- which funded the "Vote No" effort -- shows the Catholic Church raised nearly half the money for the "Vote Yes" campaign; however, the majority of "Vote No" donations come from individuals.

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