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Chapter 5
An Introduction to the
Battleground States
Wallace Swan
When this book was initially visualized, the goal was to contrast a state that could
win a ballot measure with one that would most likely not win such a vote. Two
states were chosen: Minnesota and North Carolina. Minnesota was chosen because
the Minnesota legislature had passed a bill that would put into the state constitu-
tion language that would limit marriage to an arrangement that included only a
man and a woman. ere was no prohibition upon other types of relationships
(e.g., civil unions and domestic partnerships). In 1993, Minnesota had included
language in its laws that provided human rights protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender (LGBT) people. One signicant result of the passage of the human
rights protection was that the state had had years to develop a supportive statewide
infrastructure. e result of this was the immediate development of a coalition
called “Minnesotans United for All Families,” once the constitutional amendment
proposal was passed by the legislature. is coalition included well over 600 signa-
tory organizations from all over the state. It became a fund-raising eort that raised
very large amounts of money, and designed innovative internet and television ads
that challenged the message that had won elections in other states.
North Carolina was chosen because it was the last state in the South to antici-
pate having language placed in the state constitution not only limiting marriage
to relationships with a man and a woman, but also prohibiting a number of legal
relationships that might be designed to circumvent this limitation (e.g., domestic
partnerships and civil unions). North Carolina had not gone through the process
of statewide recognition of LGBT rights, except in a few progressive enclaves.

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