One Mom’s Odyssey: How a Minnesota Woman Helped Make Same-Sex Marriage History

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Click photo of Randi Reitan to watch video about her story

Click photo of Randi Reitan to watch video about her story


A mother’s love for her son is a powerful thing. It helped change the course of history in Minnesota.

Randi Reitan was one of thousands of people who worked to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, but she had a symbolic affect on the years-long fight. She began working for marriage equality more than a decade ago, after her son, Jake, came out as gay.

In 2010, UpTake video of her effort to launch a boycott of Target Corp., for donating to a fund that backed anti-gay-rights gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, went viral and may have helped doom the Republican’s candidacy. Had Emmer been elected governor, instead of Democrat Mark Dayton, the chances of legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota would have been slim. In 2012, had Reitan and others not fought a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, it might have been years before that law could be reversed.

Those struggles set the stage for this year’s dramatic passage of a same-sex marriage law in the Minnesota Legislature.

This video, shot by the staff of The UpTake over several years, documents how one mom’s simple action can help fuel a movement, and how love can turn despair into joy. Click on the photo to watch now.

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Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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