Minnesota for Marriage offering prizes in exchange for support of anti-gay marriage amendment

Posted on: November 4th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition advocating for passage of a 2012 vote on a constitutional same-sex marriage ban, launched a campaign Wednesday that will award people prizes for obtaining pledges to support the ban.

The campaign asks each person to obtain five pledges to support the ban in order to be considered for a prize drawing. Drawing winners will receive a $100 Visa gift card. The drawing will be held daily through the month of November.

The group, which is made up of the Minnesota Family Council, the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Catholic Conference announced the campaign on their Facebook page Wednesday afternoon: ”Minnesota For Marriage Announces Drive For Five! Help us grow our campaign by getting five people you know to pledge their support for marriage and protect it as between one man and one woman in November of 2012—and be eligible to win a $100 Visa Card.”

The campaign led bloggers to question whether such activity is illegal. Minnesota prohibits purchase of votes in elections, according to state statute:

Bribery, advancing money, and treating prohibited. A person who willfully, directly or indirectly, advances, pays, gives, promises, or lends any money, food, liquor, clothing, entertainment, or other thing of monetary value, or who offers, promises, or endeavors to obtain any money, position, appointment, employment, or other valuable consideration, to or for a person, in order to induce a voter to refrain from voting, or to vote in a particular way, at an election, is guilty of a felony. This section does not prevent a candidate from stating publicly preference for or support of another candidate to be voted for at the same primary or election. Refreshments of food or nonalcoholic beverages having a value up to $5 consumed on the premises at a private gathering or public meeting are not prohibited under this section.

The contest might pass legal muster as no one is guaranteed a payoff for signing people up, and the document asks people to “pledge their support for marriage and protect it as between one man and one woman in November 2012,” and doesn’t explicitly ask signers to vote.

Here’s the full document courtesy of Good As You.


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