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Associated Press, Published October 22 2012

NYC mayor donates $125,000 to defeat Minn. gay marriage ban amendment

NEW YORK – Mayor Michael Bloomberg is poised to spend $500,000 of his personal fortune on gay marriage campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state, he said Monday, following up on a major political spending push the billionaire businessman-turned-politician announced last week.

Monday’s move deepened Bloomberg’s involvement in the issue outside of New York, and it reflected his vow to give at least $10 million by Election Day to moderate candidates and to ballot initiatives supporting gay marriage and other issues around the country.

Bloomberg is giving $125,000 to a group working against a Minnesota constitutional amendment that would strengthen an existing law against same-sex marriage. A dozen Minnesota businesspeople already have raised $125,000 to match Bloomberg’s gift, said Minnesotans United for All Families.

“Business leaders across the state – and those around the nation, like Mayor Bloomberg – have made it clear that this amendment is bad for business,” Minnesotans United campaign manager Richard Carlbom said. The group says the proposed constitutional amendment would hurt Minnesota’s prospects of attracting talented workers.

A spokesman for a group leading the charge to pass the proposal, Minnesota for Marriage, saw Bloomberg’s gift as interloping.

“We believe it is the people of Minnesota who should decide the question of marriage, not out-of-state donors like Bloomberg,” said the spokesman, Chuck Darrell.