For thirty years Dr. James Dobson’s focus, he says, has been on the family. On Tuesday night, his focus was on the Minnesota voter.
"The major point is to cast an informed ballot and vote," says Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family Action. "Bring everyone you know to do the same."
Twenty five hundred people, most from area Christian churches, came to Dobson’s "Stand for the Family" rally in St. Paul. No candidate was endorsed by name because Focus on the Family Action cannot legally do that with its non-profit status.
But the main issue it seemed is still focused on banning same-sex marriage and its legal equivalent.
"People are speaking loudly and boldly on the subject of marriage," Minnery says.
About 300 people right across the street were speaking loudly, too. Advocates for the gay and lesbian community, along with their allies, held a rally of their own asking for acceptance of same-sex families.
"We don’t have a message of hate,” says Ann DeGroot of OutFront Minnesota. “We have one of acceptance and tolerance, and understanding who all the families of Minnesota are.”
There is no marriage amendment on the ballot for Minnesota voters this year. The amendment has failed to get out of committee for the last three years in the state legislature. That is something Focus on the Family Action is well aware of and wants to change.
“I'd love to see it get on the ballot because if it does, without question, it will pass overwhelmingly,” Minnery says. “These ballot measures passed in 20 states, 20 victories by substantial margins.”
It's a moot point in Minnesota this November.
But not a moot fight.
“It means to us that we can't let our guard down, we have a lot of work to do,” DeGroot says.
Focus on the Family Action is only doing three of these rallies nationwide. The first was held earlier this month in Pennsylvania, which, like Minnesota, is home to an important Senate race.
The final rally is next month in Tennessee, where voters will decide on the marriage amendment in November.
(Copyright 2006 by KARE 11. All Rights Reserved.)