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Expert Alert

U of M expert available to discuss defeat of Minnesota marriage amendment

November 7, 2012

The defeat of the Minnesota marriage amendment, along with votes in Maine, Maryland and Washington to support same-sex marriage, reversed a trend of 32 straight victories in state votes opposing same-sex marriage.

Why is this shift happening? Ed Schiappa, chair of the Communication Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, who has studied and written about LGBT issues for many years, says four factors are at work:

1. The four states are all above the Bible Belt where religious arguments opposing homosexuality find less resonance. 

2. The fear appeals relied upon by opponents of same-sex marriage appear to have run their course.

3. Better organizing by supporters of same-sex marriage.

4. The young voter turnout.

For interviews with Schiappa, please contact Steve Henneberry, University News Service,, 612-624-1690.

Media note: Schiappa is a visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this semester, located in Cambridge, Mass. He is available by phone and email only.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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