As national groups plan their battles over the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, each side is competing to be seen as most reasonable. At the same time, both risk alienating the public if the campaigns descend into inflammatory rhetoric.

“I’m not looking forward to a year of discord and ugliness,” said Southwest resident Eric Jensen, echoing many people’s concerns that the debate will divide the state.

A History of Extreme Rhetoric

The Minnesota Family Council didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment, but statements by the organization’s President Tom Prichard reflect a desire for a rational discussion on the issue. Following Saturday’s vote to put the amendment on the 2012 ballot, he told the Star Tribune that “our goal is to not make it personal. I think we can have a respectful discussion and conversation on the importance of marriage in our state.”

However, the council’s “Legislative Handbook,” posted on its website, offers a rather different picture. The compilation of free soundbites for legislators and community leaders contains several claims that stray far from Prichard’s stated desire for “respectful discussion and conversation.”

Read the rest at Southwest Minneapolis Patch

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