I blogged about the Big Gay Race a week ago and just wanted to remind folks that early registration ends today. I just signed up! Comment if you’ll be taking part!
Remember, running is optional. Many folks walk for the event too. The whole idea is to get out and show your support for equality and love!
(For more information on how to register, click here)
It’s unfortunate to hear stories of several Vote NO signs being stolen across the state of Minnesota. However, this person decided that someone stealing a sign wasn’t going to stop her from sharing an important message about equality. It makes my heart happy to see the type of perseverance out there in Minnesota.
They say that when life gives you lemons… :)
Note: Thanks to Minnesotan’s United for sharing this image and story on their Facebook page.
Today, http://MinnesotaForEquality.com achieved another blog milestone: 10,000+ unique visitors! It was just over 30 days ago that the site passed the 5,000 unique visitor mark. Clearly, people are reading more about the amendment and looking for ways to get involved.
As always, be sure to share any of links on this site you find valuable to keep getting the word out. Together, we’re educating voters in Minnesota about why we must vote NO and keep this mean-spirited amendment out of the Minnesota State Constitution.
Here’s to sharing many more conversations and stories!
Minnesotans United for All Families posted a new commercial to their YouTube page earlier this week featuring long-time Republican Wheelock Whitney. In July, I shared an opinion piece from the St. Cloud Times where Whitney wrote:
Marriage says “family” in a way no other word can, and we should encourage our fellow citizens to honor the love, commitment and responsibility that marriage demands.
It is a powerful statement on the importance of marriage that same-sex couples desire to join the institution, and permanently limiting their freedom to do so is wrong, unjust and unfair.
In the new commercial, running exclusively online, Whitney shares:
I think freedom should be made available to everyone. When my son told me that he was gay, it was a shock. Didn’t take me very long to realize that he deserved the same kind of happiness. Things change; I want it to change in my lifetime and I don’t have that many years left. So I’d like to start with defeating this amendment.
The 30-second clip ends with a white screen that encourages viewers to protect freedom and vote NO.
Earlier this month, the Star Tribune ran an article on Frank Schubert, one of the strategic masterminds behind several marriage amendment campaigns. The article provides quotes from Shubert, along with insight into his strategy:
Schubert’s template is simple, yet has proven remarkably effective. He works stealthily, through churches and sympathetic groups for most of the race, waiting till the end, when he unleashes a blitz of television ads that often feature rosy-cheeked children bounding home to tell their parents they learned in school that “a prince can marry a prince.”
In addition to writing about Shubert’s work on California’s Prop 8, and the work he’s doing here in Minnesota, a good portion is spent on Shubert’s personal life. The man who is on a mission to “protect marriage” is divorced himself. After nine years of marriage and two kids, he decided that it really wasn’t for him.
While that is certainly ironic, the part of the article that disgusts me the most is what the Tribune has to share about Shubert’s very own sister:
[Starting a consulting company focused on social issues] forced him to confront another painful family reality: His new cause was putting him on course to ensure that his lesbian sister would never be able to marry her longtime female partner, even as they raise two children together.
“I called her before I got involved in this issue and explained to her what I was going to do,” Schubert said. “We agreed to disagree. I love her very much.”
A man, so dedicated to ensuring committed same-sex couples can’t celebrate a life together, will stop at nothing for his cause.
It’s a long article, but worth the read. Folks, this tells us what we’re up against…
Personally, I’ve been a fan of Hell’s Kitchen since moving to the Cities. The place has tons of seating, great food and fun happy hour specials.
Well, now I’ve got one more reason to like this place. Tonight, the owners of Hell’s Kitchen posted an open letter on their Facebook Page to a patron who expressed his concern of the restaurant’s support of the North Star Roller Girls because NSRG have taken a “Vote NO” stance. With permission from Hell’s Kitchen, I’ve posted the letter below in it’s entirety.
An open letter to RB:
Last week, when you threatened to boycott Hell’s Kitchen if we continue to support the North Star Roller Girls because of their “Vote NO” stance on the marriage amendment vote, we were taken aback. Not because you said you’d announce your boycott via Facebook, tweets and calls into local conservative radio shows, but because you were obviously unaware of Hell’s Kitchen’s fierce, longtime support of the GLBT Community. We haven’t just supported the “Vote NO” stance, we’ve embraced it. And we haven’t just embraced it, we’ve also walked the talk by throwing a fundraiser for it as well.
Our employees and 12,448 Hell’s Kitchen Facebook Fans may or may not agree with us, but they know exactly where we stand on this issue. We seem to be in good company because General Mills, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, American Airlines, Gap, Nike, Amazon, T-Mobile, Thomson Reuters, RBC Wealth Management, REI, and hundreds of other businesses have also refused to be bullied. They, too have stood up for what the United Nations calls basic human rights. The exhaustive list also includes schools (Augsburg, Capella, U of M, etc), cities (Duluth, St. Paul, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Edina, Falcon Heights, Golden Valley, Maplewood, Crystal, Robbinsdale, Mankato, Shakopee), and more and more numerous churches.
Of course we risk alienating certain customers by so publicly getting on a soapbox, but interestingly, when General Mills announced its opposition of the amendment, their stock price shot UP. When NOM called for a boycott of Starbucks, a “Thank You Starbucks” Web campaign received more than 650,000 supporters, while NOM’s “Dump Starbucks” campaign has received about 45,000.
Yes, we realize the amendment has a good chance of passing, which in our view would be a crime against human dignity. Regardless of the final vote, Hell’s Kitchen (and Angel Food Bakery) always have and always will truly love, embrace, and supports the right of our GLBT employees, customers, and community to live authentic lives. We’re proud that Minnesotans from all walks of life have always felt at home here, and will continue to work hard on behalf of ideals dear to our hearts. Are you aware of our strong support of Minnesota farmers each and every day, or that we throw open our doors to a different Minnesota charity every Monday night?
In closing, while we’re proud of our damn good food, our extraordinary staff and our truly unique environment, we all believe that what has really made us Minnesota’s busiest restaurant (and one of the most successful independently-owned restaurants in the country) is how active we try to be in the lives of people across our great state.
Warmest personal regards,
The owners and/or founders of Hell’s Kitchen and Angel Food Bakery (Cynthia Gerdes, Mitch Omer, Steve Meyer, Kim Meyer, Tony Perella and Katy Gerdes)
Now there are three simple ways YOU, too, can take action. First, like their page on Facebook. Second, take a moment to express your thanks (send them a note, share the link to this blog post on your wall, etc.). And finally, third, stop on in and say “thank you” with your business (here’s their website in case you need directions).
Thank you, Hell’s Kitchen, for standing up for love and equality.
Generally I am of the opinion that city councils shouldn’t take political positions on behalf of the city… but this really is an issue of human rights. It’s an issue of making sure that people have freedoms and rights and that our constitution isn’t taking those away.
Mayor Dan Roe, Roseville, Minnesota
Source: Pioneer Press
Roe’s response to the Roseville City Council voting unanimously to pass a resolution to oppose the equality-limiting marriage amendment on Minnesotans’ ballots this fall.
Roseville joins the list of Minnesota cities that have come out against the mean-spirited marriage amendment on ballots this fall.
On Monday night, the Roseville City Council voted unanimously to oppose the marriage amendment. This makes Roseville the 13th Minnesota city to speak out against writing inequality into the Minnesota State Constitution.
My friend David happened to be one of the people that spoke to the Council asking them to oppose the amendment. He shared with me what one amendment supporter had to say:
…some guy got up and said that there were 10,000 studies saying that kids need a mother and father, and that gay men become incontinent because of their “lifestyle.”
He read a definition of marriage from a 30-year-old dictionary… I was thinking, “He’s [Minnesota for Marriage's] target audience. Exploit their fear and feed it with lies that sound just credible enough to be true.”
It saddens me to see the ignorance we are up against in this great state that I call home. However, I have hope when I see cities taking a very public stand encouraging their voters to say NO to discrimination and inequality.
Roseville City Council members, I thank you for giving me (and hundreds of thousands of other Minnesotans) hope.
Last year, I shared a 2-minute video that GetUp! Action for Australia put together. It’s a brilliant love-story that is told through the eyes of the man being filmed. Only at the end of the video is it revealed that the person on the other end of the camera is also a man. He kneels down and proposes to his husband-to-be. The message is quite simple: Love is love.
Earlier this month, another video was posted on YouTube inspired by that initial video. This time, it tells the story of life, love and loss using the same technique. The only difference this time is that the video features two women.
Both of these videos highlight the fact that love is love. Committed same-sex couples have the same ups, downs, happy days and sad as opposite-sex couples.
Thank you to both videos for telling this story so eloquently.
If you’ve followed this blog for any time, you know that I enjoy a good chuckle when I find one. Here’s a cartoon that, I think you’ll agree, does a pretty good job hitting the mark!
To see other cartoons that poke fun at the marriage debate, check out the Cartoons category on the home page.
Note: All cartoons are the property of their respective author and have been shared via the internet.
In a sad turn of events, the Minnesota Supreme court found that Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, overstepped his role by assigning a new title to both the Voter ID and marriage amendments on ballots this fall.
On June 28, Ritchie announced that he was changing the title of the mean-spirited marriage amendment to read: “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.” He shared that this more accurately reflected the intent of the amendment.
Less than two weeks later, Minnesota for Marriage brought a lawsuit against Ritchie and others claiming that he had overstepped his legal bounds.
Fast forward to today, less than two months from when this all started, and the Supreme Court has reversed Ritchie’s decision. That means, the original title of the amendment will appear on ballots this fall: “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.” It’s unfortunate, because the word “recognition” creates the perception that this amendment is actually a good thing. However, once you start to dig a little deeper, you quickly realize how troubling this amendment truly is.
Considering that polls already show amendment supporters have a fairly large lead, this latest setback is disappointing.
As promised yesterday, here is your first look at Vote No signs on a stick! These volunteer-made fans are being given out at the Minnesota State Fair as a way to help fair-goers cool down and keep the conversation going about why voting NO is so important this fall.
You can also get other Vote No items at the state fair, including yard signs, tshirts, bumper stickers and more! If you can’t make it to the fair, don’t worry, I’ve posted about how you can get your very own Vote No Yard Signs over here.
Note: Thanks to my friend Rob M. for sharing these images with me!
Marriage is between a man and a woman. If you got morals and you got values, that’s just how it is. That’s the way the country was set up and I just believe that’s the way it should be.
Dean Munson, Chokio, Minnesota
Respectfully, I’ll have to disagree with Mr. Munson. You see, I have both morals and values, and I still disagree with the mean-spirited amendment. To imply that those who support equality don’t have morals and values is a bit insulting. And how about those that simply think this is a step too far? Allowing the majority to vote on the rights of the minority and enshrining that forever into our State Constitution. If I knew Mr. Munson, I’d encourage him to read a note I wrote a few weeks back on that same topic. I don’t know that it would change his mind, but I bet we would have a really good conversation.
After all, that’s been my message for some time now. This election may very well come down to those simple conversations…
MPR posted an article this weekend highlighting the fact that both sides of the amendment debate would be out in full force at the Minnesota State Fair – also known as the Great Minnesota Get Together.
According to MPR:
Inside the fairgrounds, Minnesotans United has its first booth at the fair, an orange and blue shack ringed by people waiting to make donations, buy T-shirts or pick up a free “Vote NO” fan on a stick.
A half-block away on the same street, marriage amendment supporters have their booth… Autumn Leva, a spokeswoman for Minnesota for Marriage, a group that supports the amendment, said fair-goers are signing Marriage Protection Pledge forms and entering their marriage proposal contest.
The article provides some good quotes from state-goers themselves – from both opponents and supporters of the amendment. From the sounds of it, folks aren’t shy to share their support of the amendment at the Sate Fair – that’s where Minnesotans United volunteers come in. As we continue to tell our stories and talk to voters about the negative consequences of this amendment, we begin to change minds. Maybe not over night, but I truly believe that we’ve come a LONG way in the last year.
If you’d like to volunteer at the State Fair and help get out the Vote NO message, check out my blog post from earlier today.
And while you’re out there volunteering, don’t forget to check out the delicious Spam Curds!