…although we have always expected that [amendment opponents] will outspend us, as marriage protection opponents have in every other state dealing with this issue, we are confident that the people of Minnesota will come together to raise the resources necessary to win and not let our state’s definition of marriage be defined by activist judges or liberal out of state organizations. We don’t have to match our opponents spending; we only need to mobilize people who believe marriage should be protected. We have the people of Minnesota on our side, and we remain confident of victory.
John Helmberger, Minnesota for Marriage Chairman
Helmberger speaks out in response to the fact that Minnesotans United for All Families raised $4.3 million versus the $1.4 million raised by Minnesota for Marriage.
The thing that is so very important to note about his statement: Helmberger calls out the fact that amendment opponents have outspent “marriage protection” groups in every single state, yet this measure has still passed every single time it has come up for vote. To those who think that we’re going to vote this down because we’ve raised more money, let Mr. Helmberger’s cocky response, and confidence in victory, be a quick reality check.
We need to do more than raise money. We must have the conversations (sometimes tough ones) about why this amendment must be defeated. And we need to start now. Help me send Mr. Helmberger a clear message: We won’t stand for discrimination and inequality in Minnesota. It’s not who we are.
Please take a minute to watch this video. It’s crazy motivating to see how big an impact just one single voice can have on the outcome of this vote in NOvember. I posted this statistic previously, but 67% of voters are more likely to vote NO after hearing from someone they know. I’ll repeat one thing the video has to say:
Spread the word.
Let’s beat this.
A recent study showed the Twin Cities metropolitan area is about 5th or 6th in the country in attracting these kinds of workers. Not just gays and lesbians, but all educated workers who want to live in a community that welcomes diversity, that embraces diversity… I think that’s the business stake. I think that’s why businesses ought to get involved. It’s not because it’s the right the thing to do, the popular thing to do, but because it’s a bottom line issue for businesses.
Tom Horner, in response to why Minnesota Businesses need to take a stand against the mean-spirited amendment on ballots this fall
Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, announced today that he was changing the title of the ballot question to read: “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.” The verbiage of the amendment itself, however, remains unchanged.
Last year, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the amendment once it reached his desk. While his veto was only symbolic in nature – an amendment vote circumvents the governor – it did cause one important thing to happen: It invalidated the original title crafted by the legislature (“Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman”). As a result, Ritchie selected the new title.
Of course, amendment backers are upset as the new verbiage reflects more on what the amendment would do: LIMIT RIGHTS. According to the Star Trib, amendment backers are already weighing whether to file a lawsuit.
I personally think it’s a good thing that we took “recognition” out of the title and changed it to “limiting the status.” It better reflects what would actually be happening.
Curious to hear your thoughts. What do you think of this new title?
Image Source: Oreo Facebook Page
Kraft Foods, the maker of Oreo cookies, proudly displays their support of Pride with this fun rainbow Oreo posted on their Facebook page. The image is beautifully simple with only the words: June 25 | Pride.
Since posting the image on Monday, June 25, nearly 250,000 people have “liked” the photo and nearly 80,000 people have shared the image. As of this evening, there are over 45,000 comments on the image, many that simply express thanks.
The disclaimer below the image lets everyone know that this Pride Oreo isn’t actually available for purchase. Bummer, everyone knows that the cream filling is the best part of an Oreo! ; ) All kidding aside, the Pride Oreo is just another example of a company standing up to support LGBT equality.
Note: Oreo is a trademark of Kraft foods. Author does not own rights to image; shared from the Oreo Facebook Page.
Yesterday, I posted a letter that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) sent to 50 of Minnesota’s largest companies with a vague threat (referencing a Starbucks boycott the group staged). The goal of the letter is to get companies to stay neutral on the mean-spirited marriage amendment on ballots this fall.
So, I decided that it was time that we start sending our own letters. To make it easy, I included contact information for a couple of big companies below:
Phone: 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289)
Mail: Best Buy Corporate Customer Care, P.O. Box 9312, Minneapolis , MN 55440
Mail: 1000 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Mail: PO Box 9300, Minneapolis, MN, 55440-9300
Oh, and also, PLEASE be sure to send General Mills a BIG thank you for coming out against the amendment!
Phone: 1-800-248-7310 (7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CT, weekdays)
Mail: General Mills, Inc., P.O. Box 9452, Minneapolis, MN 55440
I posted earlier today about how the National Organization for Marriage sent a letter to 50 of Minnesota’s largest companies warning them to remain neutral in the “culture war” by not taking a stance on the amendment in the fall.
This is a clear sign that marriage amendment supporters are fearful the impact businesses in Minnesota would have on this vote. Considering the number of Fortune 500 companies based in Minnesota, and our state’s history of supporting equality and diversity, NOM has right to worry.
Take a minute to read through the letter below. You’ll see that NOM make an inaccurate statement when they say that the amendment has little to do with corporate missions to serve customers, earn profits and provide good jobs for people of Minnesota. The reality is, this amendment impacts all three. Companies compete for talent, and if we can’t attract the best, we will stumble at serving the customer (or, competitors will continue to excel and we’ll stall). The reality is, this has a very direct impact on those profits NOM mentions in their letter below.
The organization also uses scare tactics, including reference to a boycott on Starbucks and the fact that North Carolina just passed a marriage amendment with large margins. Make no doubt about it, the message NOM is attempting to send is clear: Take a stance, and there will be repercussions:
As a cultural matter that has little to do with your corporate mission to serve customers, earn profits, and provide good jobs for the people of Minnesota we would request that _____ adopt a neutral stance on the Minnesota marriage amendment. We do not request that you endorse our efforts to protect the age-old definition of what is a marriage, but only that you stay neutral and respect the conscience rights of your customers and employees who are on both sides of the issue.[…]
Wading into a culture war over an issue where _____ has no business interest is to invite public backlash, much like what Starbucks is experiencing in the DumpStarbucks.com campaign, with little upside. Polls have put support for the Minnesota marriage amendment at 56% – higher than polls in North Carolina had support for the marriage amendment there just prior to the 61-39% victory for marriage in that state.[…]
We are carefully watching what _____ will do on this important measure, with the expectation that you will not be engaged on one side or the other. Please let us know if this is not the case.
Source: Thanks to Thinkprogress.org for posting the content of the letter.
Great Kare11 Story on how “gay marriage foes” are seeking corporate neutrality.
It turns out that The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is at it again. This time, they’ve sent letters to 50 of Minnesota’s largest companies asking for them to remain neutral on the marriage amendment.
According to NOM’s Jonathan Baker:
What we’re asking businesses to do is to create a work environment that welcoming to all of the employees. And they can do that through adopting a neutral stance over the Minnesota Marriage amendment.
In the clip, Tom Horner (who ran for govenor in 2010) reminds us that this issue has much larger impacts to business is Minnesota than NOM would have you believe; it’s about attracting a talented workforce and the economics of diversity:
A recent study showed the Twin Cities metropolitan area is about 5th or 6th in the country in attracting these kinds of workers… Not just gays and lesbians, but all educated workers who want to live in a community that welcomes diversity, that embraces diversity.
I’ll find the text from the letter NOM sent to the 50 businesses and post it shortly.
Here’s one of the pics snapped of the General Mills protest rally today. As you can see, not a lot of folks turned out to protest (about 20 or so). Protesters gathered up General Mills products from their homes to donate to homeless shelters in support of the “dump General Mills” message.
John Croman of Kare 11 posted another pic via twitpic. The most surprising (or saddest) part of these pictures is the number of children that you see. It reminds me of a lyric from a Dixie Chicks song:
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she ought’a hate a perfect stranger
And then we wonder why kids treat each other differently in our schools and why bullying has become such an epidemic. Shame on these parents.
For those wondering what they can do to send General Mills a message of thanks, I’ve posted a couple times now a quick and easy link to say “thank you.” Additionally, A “support General Mills” event was set up for this Thursday from 6:00pm-9:00pm by LeftMN. The group is asking that anyone who supports General Mills for standing up for equality bring in unopened and non-perishable items to donate as a way of saying “Thanks, General Mills!” (I love the approach of the counter-donation strategy; both this week’s rally and the thank you event benefit the homeless shelters).
Will share any additional news or insight I get from the rally throughout the rest of the week. Until then, I’ll keep eating my Cheerios!
Thanks to Andy B. for sharing the above photo with me.
LOVE this blog. I live in Spicer, and I am a straight ally. I have your back!!!
It was inspiring to see all of the folks signing up to Vote NO in Minneapolis this weekend! But as we all know, our big cities cannot defeat this amendment alone. We need voters from every corner of Minnesota to come out and send the message that we will not allow our constitution to be tarnished with inequality.
The above is a note that I received from an ally in Spicer. The simple note is both encouraging and motivating to me at the same time. My goal when I started this blog was to share stories, news and media related to the mean-spirited amendment in an effort to help educate and mobilize supporters of equality. Notes like these remind me why I started this blog and why I will continue to fight every single day until November to make sure Minnesota voters say NO to discrimination and NO to this amendment.
To the above ally in Spicer, thank you. Your email, and your support, make a difference.
Well, it’s official. The dumpgeneralmills domain came to life today asking folks to sign a petition against General Mills. The goal of the site is to tell the company that standing on the side of equality will result in lost business.
I’m sad to report that the site has almost 7,000 signatures. If you’ve not already sent a note to General Mills to say “thank you for opposing the mean-spirited amendment and standing on the correct side of history,” I’ve made it really easy. Just click here. Let’s make sure that the amendment supporters aren’t the only ones that General Mills hears from!
It’s a fact: People are 67% more likely to move to our side when they hear from people they know.
This should make each and every single one of us sit up and take notice. If you wonder why everyone in this campaign continues to hit hard on having the conversation, this is the reason. People are 67% more likely to vote NO when they hear from us. This is especially true if you are LGBT.
If you aren’t sure where to start, I just posted 13 Tips on having a conversation about marriage. Start there. Minnesotan’s United has an entire section dedicated to having conversations. Be sure to check it out!
Every day, I’m surprised at new resources I find on the Minnesotans United for all Families web site. Today, I discovered a PDF document that provides 13 tips on how to have a conversation about marriage with friends, family and coworkers. It’s even split up into helpful sections (before starting, what to do, after the conversation) and includes some example starters.
Even if you’ve already been having conversations, some of the tips provided here can still be quite beneficial (Tip 5: Make sure you check in with yourself before speaking). Also, if you have friends who may not yet be comfortable speaking about this topic, consider printing this tip sheet and sharing it with them. Even though it can be uncomfortable, we need everyone out there talking.
And remember, as Tip 11, thank them for the conversation, regardless of the outcome. The goal is to start the dialogue, and by having the conversation, you are doing just that.
PS- I would personally add one more tip to this sheet.
Tip 14: Ask them to take action. If you find that the person is supportive and you have a good conversation, ask them to take action. You could ask them to vote NO in NOvember or even to have the conversation with their own friends. It’s ok not to ask the person to take action immediately. You can do this in a follow-up conversation as well.
“Remember that conversation we had last week back about Brad and LouAnne and marriage? Well, that whole conversation is going to come up again and again over the next couple months because our state is going to vote on this very topic in NOvember. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the conversation and how important it will be for us to vote NO. Like you said, why does it matter who another person loves…”
Earlier this afternoon, I posted about how Minnesota for Marriage will be holding “Dump General Mills” rallies starting tomorrow at General Mills’ headquarters (if you haven’t read the post yet and clicked on the link to thank General Mills for their support, please do it now).
Interestingly enough, it’s not really Minnesotan’s behind this move. Once again, we see the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) trying to strong-arm both companies and voters in our state by funneling in outside money and influence. Just check out who registered the dumpgeneralmills domain on June 16: the National Organization for Marriage.
In case you didn’t know, NOM is the same group that promotes “ex-gay therapy” and has attempted to strong-arm the likes of Starbucks and republicans that speak out against the amendment. They go from state to state and are a well-funded machine. So when you hear things like, “real Minnesotans fighting to ‘protect’ marriage” just realize, things are not always what they seem in politics.
Please remember to drop General Mills a note or give them a call to say thank you.
Starting tomorrow, Minnesota for Marriage will be holding “Dump General Mills” rallies across from the company’s headquarters to send a message that taking a stand against the mean-spirited marriage amendment will impact their business.
While I’m not sure how big an impact rallies across from a company’s headquarters will have, it is so very important that General Mills hears from both sides.
Please take 5 minutes to show your support for General Mills and give them a call or send them an email to say “Thank you” for their support for equality and coming out against the mean-spirited amendment this fall. I’ve made it really easy for you to do by including contact information below:
Phone: 1-800-248-7310 (7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CT, weekdays)
Mail: General Mills, Inc., P.O. Box 9452, Minneapolis, MN 55440
Every single one of us has the ability to make an impact on this vote, and in turn, history. Please let your voice be heard.