Room & Board, Roseville Oppose Marriage Amendment

Golden Valley-based furniture company Room & Board and the Roseville City Council are the latest to announce that they formally oppose the so-called "marriage amendment."

Home furniture retailer Room & Board is the latest Minnesota company to publicly oppose a proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage in the state—and it joins a list of other businesses and city councils that have taken a similar stance.

Golden Valley-based Room & Board said Wednesday that it has joined Minnesotans United for All Families, a group that opposes the proposed amendment, which will appear on ballots in November. Room & Board operates stores in Edina, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Costa Mesa, California. It employs 671 nationwide, including 262 in Minnesota.

“We recognize that the joy found in one’s home extends far beyond our surroundings to the people with whom we spend our lives,” the company said in a statement. “To that end, we have long supported efforts dedicated to strengthening home and family. We oppose the amendment to the Minnesota Constitution banning marriage for same-sex couples.”

According to Minnesotans United for All Families, nearly 200 businesses of all sizes from across Minnesota have joined the coalition to oppose the amendment.

Meanwhile, an organization called Minnesota for Marriage is drumming up support fo the amendment, and it counts among its supporters a long list of religious and other organizations, although no major Minnesota-based company appears on the list, which can be viewed here.

The list does include, however, a group called Lawyers for Marriage, which formed “to be a resource for understanding the legal and social importance of Minnesota’s existing legal definition of marriage,” according to Minnesota for Marriage. Members of the group’s executive committee include attorney Roger Magnuson; Teresa Collett of the University of St. Thomas School of Law; William LeMire of Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak, and Pikala; and Evan Wilson of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, according to Minnesota for Marriage.

The leaders of several local law firms, meanwhile, have publicly opposed the amendment.

Some city councils have also announced their opposition. Roseville’s city council voted unanimously Monday night to formally oppose the amendment, a city spokesperson said Thursday.

According to Minnesotans United for All Families, Roseville’s is the 13th city council to take such a stance. To view a full list of cities that have opposed the amendment, which includes Minneapolis and St. Paul, click here.

Little Canada-based St. Jude Medical and Golden Valley-based General Mills were the first major Minnesota companies to oppose the amendment. They have since been joined by Minneapolis-based Capella University and New York-based Thomson Reuters, a major local employer.

Local businesspeople—including Bill George, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Vance Opperman, John Taft, and Wheelock Whitney—have also said they oppose the amendment.