Hundreds rally at Northrop

The event, hosted by MN United, attracted about 1,200 attendees.

Bobby Long and Terry Tauger kiss on the steps of Northrop Plaza at the Vote No rally.

Bridget Bennett

Bobby Long and Terry Tauger kiss on the steps of Northrop Plaza at the Vote No rally.

Meghan Holden

Students and Minnesotans from around the Twin Cities area gathered at the University of Minnesota’s Northrop Mall on Monday night to rally against the forthcoming marriage amendment.

The rally, organized by Minnesotans United for All Families, brought students, families and notable politicians to campus to speak against the amendment that would constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Chris Kluwe, punter for the Minnesota Vikings, spoke at the rally.

The punter, sporting his usual flip flops, has gained national attention recently for his rigid stance against the amendment and for same-sex marriage.

“It’s a human rights issue,” Kluwe said in an interview Sunday night. “I don’t want someone telling me who I can and cannot marry.”

Sen. Al Franken also took the podium at the rally.

Franken said he has been “very supportive” of the opposition and has done “a lot of campaigning on behalf of it.”

At the rally, Franken encouraged the enthusiastic crowd to get involved and volunteer with Minnesotans United in the final week before the election.

Other notable Minnesotans in attendance included Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.

University students made up much of the estimated attendance of 1,200.

“This amendment personally affects me,” psychology senior Joey Lusvardi said. “I would not be able to get married someday in my home state if this amendment passes.”

The rally attracted students from the LGBT community, as well as allies.

“I have a lot of friends that are gay or lesbian. I’m straight, but I’m here to support them and help get the message out,” speech-language-hearing sciences sophomore Eleanore Miller said.

Kate Brickman, spokeswoman for Minnesotans United, said the organization hosted the rally to energize Minnesotans in the week leading up to the election.

She said the organization will be very active in the final days, and it has enlisted Kluwe to help.

“Whatever they ask me to do to get the word out, I’m more than happy to help,” Kluwe said.

Minnesotans United has been particularly active on the University campus. The group opened an office in Dinkytown on Oct. 20 so students could get involved in the campaign.

“None of us have a right to tell anybody who to love or who to be with,” family social science senior Jenna Trumbower said, “so that’s why I’ll be voting no.”