The Minnesota Marriage Amendment has been rejected.
The campaign to amend the Minnesota state constitution to limit the definition of marriage to strictly between heterosexual couples was defeated Tuesday by more than 51 percent of a statewide vote.
With 92 percent of state precincts reporting, the Associated Press reported shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday that Amendment 1—informally known as the Minnesota Marriage Amendment—had failed: "Vote No" won.
Speaking to a cheering crowd of hundreds at St Paul's River Centre, Richard Carlbom, the campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, told audiences that Minnesota was the first state in the nation to reject a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage at the ballot box.
"Tonight, Minnesota proved love is bigger than government," Carlbom said.
Carlbom continued: "The strength of this campaign was our thousands of volunteers, and our broad and diverse coalition of partners. This campaign did something that has never been done before: it brought together people of all faiths, in all communities, and of all political affiliations on the principle that freedom means freedom for everybody."
A full copy of his statement is attached to this article.
"No" votes outnumbered "Yes" votes in every provisional vote tally posted Tuesday night, but Carlbom's speech still brought Southwest Minneapolis resident Florence Brammer to tears, which she rubbed away from beneath her glasses.
"I've been married to a man for 35 years," she said. "It really defined my life. I raised three children in a marriage that was recognized by society."
Thinking of LGBT friends in 25-year, legally-unrecognized relationships, she said she was personally offended by an amendment that seemed to target them "with such vengeance."
"I'm very proud, very moved to be a Minnesotan right now," she said.
As Carlbom concluded his speech and left the stage, the Queen song "We are the Champions" began to blare over the loudspeakers, but amendment supporters weren't initially ready to concede quite yet. By 2:30 a.m., though, Minnesota for Marriage's Deputy Campaign Manager threw in the towel via Twitter.
"We gave our best and came up short. The fight to preserve God’s definition of marriage is not over just b/c we lost tonight," Andy Parrish wrote. "I’d like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. The fight for marriage is not over just b/c we lost tonight."
The National Organization for Marriage, who helped bankroll Minnesota's amendment supporters and those in three other states, echoed Parish in a statement issued Wednesday morning.
"Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it," the statement read. "Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback. There is much work to do, and we begin that process now.”