DFL launches campaign focusing on gay and lesbian families


As a battle over a ballot initiative that would place a ban on same-sex marriage in the Minnesota Constitution continues, the DFL is launching a campaign Friday to highlight why marriage is important to all families, including those headed by gay and lesbian couples. Called “Pride in Minnesota Families,” the campaign coincides with the beginning of Twin Cities Pride, a weekend-long series of events celebrating Minnesota’s LGBT community and its supporters.

“Marriage is about creating a family, sharing a life together and being able to marry the person you love –that is no different for gay and lesbian couples than it is for straight couples,” DFL Chair Ken Martin said in a statement on Friday. “Families come together in many different forms to love, support and care for each other, and with these videos we’re highlighting the stories of Minnesotans and what family means to them. Because, in all its different forms, a family is about love.”

The video campaign focuses on five families. Randi and Phil Reitan spoke about their desire to see their son, Jake, get married to the person he loves, something he’s not legally able to do in Minnesota.

Denny Smith of St. Cloud spoke about his son Kyle, whose partner is not a U.S. citizen; the pair was split up when his partner’s visa expired. He said his family would be together if it wasn’t for laws that discriminate against same-sex couples.

Cathy Harrison talked about her partner, Kris Anderson, and the fear she feels if something tragic were to happen. Harrison has no family in Minnesota, and she fears her partner would not be able to make decisions on her behalf if she can’t make them herself.

Eric Blad and Rick Perry, a couple that’s been together for 11 years, talked about their desire to marry.

Mark Shaw and David Bahl, who have been together for 28 years, said their families are very supportive of their relationship and feel that they should have the same opportunities as straight couples.