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American Politics | Political Science | Religion


In November of 2012, political scientists, other experts familiar with Minnesota politics and the general public were stunned by the comfortable defeat of two constitutional amendments by voters. Amendment one, also known as the marriage amendment, would have changed the state's constitution to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Amendment two, known as the voter ID or voter restriction amendment, would have required voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a vote in Minnesota elections. The Voter ID question enjoyed 80% favorability just a year before the election.

In both of the campaigns against these ballot measures, highly organized and motivated people of faith played a pivotal role in their eventual success. In this presentation, I explore the political, theological and racial dynamics that played out in both the Minnesotans United for All Families campaign against the marriage amendment and the Our Vote Our Future campaign against the voter ID amendment. While I was engaged and familiar with both campaigns, I served as communications director of Our Vote Our Future.

I also discuss the role of people of faith and organizations that help organize socially-engaged Minnesotans in passing legislation in the 2013 and 2014 sessions of the Minnesota Legislature.