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Minnesota Voters Decide That Freedom Means Freedom for Everyone

11/07/2012 12:47 pm 12:47:02 | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Early this morning I stood before a crowd of Minnesotans after a long Election Day. I was overjoyed to proclaim that Minnesotans had stated loud and clear that love is bigger than government.

It was a truly historic night -- and morning -- in Minnesota. We become the first state in the nation to beat back a freedom-limiting amendment like the one we faced. I am proud to be a Minnesotan today, proud to be from the state that is the first in the nation to have faced this question and said "no" -- "no" to limiting the freedom to marry, "no" to telling some families that they are less than others, "no" to the idea that it should be illegal to marry the person you love.

We did this together. Minnesotans United for All Families was made up of nearly 700 coalition members -- political parties, businesses, nonprofits, labor and faith communities -- who all came together on this one core principle: Don't allow Minnesota to permanently limit the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples.

We built this campaign on the idea that if we have a conversation -- an honest, statewide conversation about why marriage matters and who should have the freedom to participate in it -- Minnesotans would value freedom and fairness above all else. And they did.

Today, Minnesota voters said that love is bigger than government will ever be, and freedom means freedom for everyone.

We know that we got here today because of the 18 months of hard work that are now behind us. But we are also here because of the hard work and sacrifices of generations of brave leaders who came before us and allowed us to stand on their shoulders.

We beat this amendment because of Minnesotans -- and all the hard work our tireless volunteers provided over the past 18 months.

This conversation does not end; it's only just begun. Because we defeated this amendment, this conversation will continue, and we've provided the freedom for the next generation to decide for themselves who should have the freedom to marry.

As a lifelong Minnesotan I am proud to be from this state and proud of the people of Minnesota for rejecting this hurtful amendment.

And I am proud to have been part of this historic and incredible effort. This campaign built an unprecedented statewide grassroots effort on the hard work and sacrifices of every volunteer and every single person who helped make this happen.

This is a historic moment not only for our state but for our country.

Paul Wellstone once said, "I don't think politics has anything to do with left, right, or center. It has to do with trying to do right by people."

That's what this campaign was about.