Hey everyone, I’ve got another opportunity for you to Take Action and it’s just around the corner! Tonight I received a call from a volunteer with Minnesotans United to remind me that National Night Out is next week (August 7).
National Night Out provides each of us with a great opportunity to talk to our neighbors and friends about the freedom-limiting marriage amendment on ballots this fall. Share your story and let your neighbors know how this amendment would impact real Minnesotans. If you need some help, check out my blog post on Tips for Having a Successful Conversation about Marriage and then hop over to print out the one-pager with 8 key facts that everyone needs to know about the amendment.
Be sure to wear your Vote No tshirt – it’s another easy way to get the conversation started!
Final plug: according to the volunteer, each local office is putting together kits with pledge forms and stickers that you can use at your National Night Out event. Get ten pledge forms? Ear a free Vote NO yard sign! If you already have one, it’s a great gift you can share with a neighbor.
Check out mnunited.org for a list of local offices. While you’re there, be sure to pick up a yard sign if you don’t already have one!
As you know, last month I blogged about how the Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, updated the title of the marriage amendment that will appear on Minnesota ballots. Ritchie’s reasoning is that the new name better reflects the fact that this amendment would “limit” the rights of marriage to opposite-sex couples. Of course, this change caused quite a bit of controversy with Minnesota for Marriage suing the Secretary of State.
In an opinion piece in the Star Tribune, William McGeveran and Myron Orfield (both law professors at the University of Minnesota) attempt to clear up whether or not Ritchie was within his rights to do this. The authors indicate that you don’t need a fancy law degree to find the answer:
…you don’t have to be a law professor, or even a lawyer, to understand the constitutional argument. Junior high school civics will be plenty.
A Minnesota law, first enacted in 1919, says, “The secretary of state shall provide an appropriate title” for every question on the ballot. (Notice that’s “shall,” not “may” — and that it’s “appropriate,” not “whatever the proposal’s boosters prefer.”) It’s all part of the secretary’s role as the state’s chief election officer, which also includes everything from certifying voting systems to registering candidates.
So, if you look at the law as it’s written, it seems pretty cut and dry. In fact, the authors go on to share that there have been over 100 ballot questions since 1919 and that the secretary of state has always picked the titles without anyone objecting. Of course, that is, until now.
Let’s hope that the new amendment title sticks and that voters realize that it’s truly is about limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.
This past Thursday, I blogged about a new poll which finds that a majority of Minnesotans will vote in favor of the mean-spirited marriage amendment on the ballot this NOvember. I’m not going to lie, these numbers are disheartening.
Attached is a graph from SurveyUSA that shows the breakdown of votes.
Sadly, there’s an awful lot of red on that graph. For a complete breakdown of the numbers, check out the detailed analysis on the SurveyUSA page.
I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but the Pioneer Press ran an editorialthat provides a lot more detail than I provided on the site.
Here’s the gist: In Minnesota, for an amendment to pass the majority of voters have to check yes on the ballot signifying that they want to amend the constitution. If you simply skip the amendment question, it has the same impact as a NO vote.
While I don’t think it’s good form to encourage folks not to vote, I have, in some cases, reminded people that if their conscience doesn’t allow them to vote NO to simply leave the question blank. Defeating this thing doesn’t change anything in the state of Minnesota. However, permanently updating the state constitution to write in language that limits the rights of a subset of society… well that’s just scary.
We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and NOvember to ensure that the NO votes and those who skip the question outnumber the other side. Tick tock.
Interesting MPR story that talks about how the African American community continues to support the marriage amendment on ballots this fall. Last week the pastor of New Salem Missionary Baptist church, Jerry McAfee, brought together Baptist and Pentecostal preachers and even a representative from the Minnesota Catholic Conference to talk about why they all support the ballot measure. The pastor also invited opponents to speak to the group. Both Senator Scott Dibble and Representative Karen Clark were among the attendees.
However, according to MPR, the audience clearly was made up of mostly amendment supporters:
President Barack Obama’s recent endorsement of same-sex marriage was disparaged by several of the speakers. The mostly African-American crowd of about 100 remained quiet as amendment opponents made their cases, but applauded vigorously when the ministers spoke.
I just don’t understand how one minority group thinks that it’s ok to let the majority vote on another minority’s rights. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. If we can’t even get other minority groups to stand with us, what chance do we have?
As you may have heard, today starts the 100 day countdown to election day. It’s hard to believe that 225 days have already gone by since I started blogging this past December. If you’re like me, the time has flown by and election day will be on our doorsteps before we know it.
To mark the 100 day countdown, take a minute to reflect on ONE thing you can do today to make a difference. Here are five thoughts:
- Reblog or Share this post. Let others know that we don’t have much time left to tell our stories and educate voters in Minnesota
- Update your Facebook status: “100 days from today, Minnesota will determine whether or not discrimination will permanently be written into our state constitution. Ask me why I’ll be voting NO to stop that from happening.”
- Read about the volunteer opportunities available near you and sign up for at least one of them.
- Text a friend letting them know that we’re 100 days out from NOvember’s election day.
- Write a letter to your local paper sharing your thoughts about why this amendment would be bad for our state and the impact it would have to real Minnesotans
Pick one (or if you’re feeling extra ambitious, pick a couple) thing to do from the list. And if you need more ideas, drop me a note as I’m happy to share!
Here’s to making a difference the next 100 days. We only get one shot at getting this right, let’s make sure we make it count!
In response to a letter that claimed the mean-spirited marriage amendment would “protect” children’s rights to have a mother and father, Stephen Parsons of Minneapolis had something to say about it. I’ve included an excerpt of Parsons’ response below:
It is currently legal for same-sex couples (as well as singles) to adopt, regardless of marital status. The only difference if same-sex marriage were to become the law of the state (which it now is not; and the anti-marriage amendment would not change this) is that those same-sex couples with children could be married. The children in those households would, if anything, benefit as a result of the added stability and commitment that marriage brings to the parents.
To claim that this freedom-limiting amendment “protects” anything is ironic considering the fact that it is actually aimed at limiting the rights of loving committed same-sex couples across the state of Minnesota. The constitution is about protecting the rights of citizens – ALL citizens, not just a subset we vote upon.
Another great resource from Minnesotans United for All Families: 8 key facts everyone needs to know about the Minnesota marriage amendment.
Ideas on how to take action with this:
- Print this one-pager and post it at work
- Post a link to it on your Facebook page and ask friends to share what they find the most interesting
- Talk to a friend or family member about the facts and leave them with a copy of the one-pager
- Reblog this post and get the word out!
What other ideas do you have on taking action? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks to my friend Jeff for sharing this with me.
Our opponents have the cultural elite, wealthy contributors, and editorial writers, but we have voters on our side. We are particularly pleased with the lead the amendment enjoys among Independent voters and the large percentage of Democratic voters who support the amendment.
John Helmberger, Chairman, Minnesota for Marriage
Source: The New American
Helmberger’s response to a new poll conducted jointly by SurveyUSA and KSTP that found a 15 point spread between those who support the mean-spirited marriage amendment and those who oppose it. Read more about the poll in my blog post from yesterday.
Minnesota for Marriage has announced a new partner in their fight: Lawyers for Marriage. The group is made up of Minnesota attorneys who support the mean-spirited marriage amendment on ballots this fall.
According to Minnesota for Marriage:
…members of the organization’s executive committee include Attorney Roger Magnuson; Teresa Collett of the University of St. Thomas School of Law; William A. LeMire of Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak and Pikala; and Evan Wilson of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
This move was in response to several Minnesota lawyers and law firms coming out against the freedom-limiting marriage amendment. Earlier this month, an opinion piece appeared in the Star Tribune opposing the amendment and was signed by multiple lawyers. According to minnlawyer.com:
The column is signed by Gregory P. Bulinski; Chief executive officer, Bassford Remele, Doug Holod; governance committee chair, Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, Andrew G. Humphrey; managing partner, Faegre Baker Daniels, Brad Keil; managing partner, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, John Koneck; president, Fredrikson & Byron, Dennis M. O’Malley; managing partner, Lindquist & Vennum and Steven A. Schumeister; managing partner, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.
There have been about 30 law firms that have joined up with Minnesotans United for All Families to defeat the amendment this fall.
I like that the list for lawyers opposing the amendment is bigger than that of those who publicly support it. Let’s hope that trend carries over to voters in NOvember!
I was just going through emails and saw a note from Minnesotans United for All Families talking about one of my favorite Minnesota traditions: The State Fair.
Minnesotans United is coordinating volunteer opportunities for people to tell their stories and talk about why this amendment hurts real Minnesotans – all while enjoying some deep-fried goodness on a stick!
I keep blogging about how critical it is for each of us to get involved and take action. Here’s just one more opportunity to add to the list.
Curious to get your thoughts via the comments. Anyone else signing up for a shift?
According to new polling numbers released July 22, amendment supporters now have a 15 point lead. The survey, conducted through SurveyUSA and KSTP-TV, found that 52 percent of respondents indicated that they would be voting for the amendment while only 37 percent opposed.
Many will argue, “Oh, this is just one poll…” but the reality is, these numbers are similar to what many other states have seen in their amendment fights.
Minnesota (and our friends and allies in other states), it’s time to take notice. We need to make sure our voices are louder than ever, that we’re telling our stories, that we’re talking to friends and family and that we’re out there in the workplace and communities talking about why this amendment is so bad for Minnesota.
Election day is just over 100 days away. The clock is ticking.
Note: additional information on the survey can be found at twincities.com.
Ok, so I’ve eaten at this place once or twice while traveling, and I’ve seen their cute cow advertisements, but WOW. I have never heard as much about thecompany as I have this past week! After Chick-fil-a president Dan Cathy came out defending his company’s views about “traditional marriage” a whole lot of people started talking.
You’ve got the Jim Henson company pulling their toys from the store. You’ve got political leaders in Boston and Chicago both making proclamations that they don’t want Chick-fil-a in their towns. You’ve got universities petitioning to remove the company from their campuses as it could create a hostile environment for GLBT youth and their allies. The list goes on.
The reality is, Dan Cathy has every right to hold his views. At the same time, consumers have every right to share their views as well.
I made a commitment a while ago that I’m not going to turn this blog into a place where I rally people to boycott this company or that. However, I do believe this will be an important part of the LGBT and marriage equality movements as we look back in time, and so I’m sharing it with you. Eat and Chick-fil-a, or don’t; my only ask is that my friends, family – and followers – continue to educate themselves on their decisions.
Here’s a great little YouTube video from Jackson Pearce on “Hate, Love and Chicken.” It’s making the rounds on Facebook and it’s totally worth the watch.
Financial figures for January 1-July 10 were released last week. Those who oppose amending the state constitution to limit rights of some and define something that is already law in Minnesota, are out raising the other side nearly 4 to 1. Minnesotans United for All Families has now raised just under $5.4 million, whereas Minnesota for Marriage has raised nearly $1.5 million.
However, Minnesota for Marriage Chairman, John, Helmberger, is not at all worried that the amendment will be defeated:
Various studies elsewhere have shown that for all the millions spent in marriage amendment campaigns, there aren’t a lot of minds that are changed
While people who are staunch believers on either side may not change their mind, there is a contingent who still have not made up their minds. According to University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs, that number might be as high as 20% of voters.
While that persuadable middle is critical, getting folks out to vote is just as important. Helmberger is right when he shares that other states have seen similar fundraising and have still passed this thing. Raising the funds to defeat this mean-spirited amendment isn’t enough. We must continue to tell our personal stories and we must continue to encourage our friends, family and co-workers to get out and vote NO. This is the key to success in Minnesota. This is our key to being the first state to defeat this amendment!