As of September 29, 2012, www.MinnesotaForEquality.com has officially logged over 20,000 unique visitors! You might recall that less than a month before, I had shared another blog milestone: 10,000 unique visitors. As you can see, interest is picking up for the campaign, but we don’t have a lot of time left.
With 37 days left to go, we don’t have much time. I will continue to keep fighting right up until election day in the hope that Minnesota will be the first state in our entire nation to defeat one of these things. Yes, history and polls tell us that it’s going to be tough to defeat (I’ve even heard some say “impossible”), but I believe we’re well on our way. Through telling our stories and having conversations, we’re changing hearts and minds every single day.
This experience has been such an exciting journey, and I know it’s not over yet. To everyone that has emailed me, reblogged me, donated to my fundraising page - thank you.
We’re Minnesotans and we won’t back down. Not now, not ever. We can defeat this thing, and with your help, we’ve got a great chance to beat the odds.
It’s the vote no iPhone case. Best iPhone case ever!
Think about how often you have your phone out. If you’re like me, it’s just an extension of your hand. Well, now wherever I am, everyone knows that I stand for equality!
Protecting my phone AND letting folks know that I’m voting NO at the same time? Priceless.
After a month of waiting, race day was finally here. I had the fortune of walking with a group of friends and cheering on my own brother who ran the 5k (24:42 time!).
It was such an amazing experience. My friend Joel captured it very nicely on Facebook:
I came walking down into St. Anthony-Main on a crisp fall Saturday morning and witnessed one of the most breathtaking views of my life. Thousands upon thousands of supporters far as the eye could see – gay men, lesbians, straight couples with children, elderly – gave up their Saturday Morning to unite in support of equality for all. Tears came to my eyes. All I could think is, “We’re Minnesota and we’re showing the world that we’re better than this hurtful amendment”.
I have to admit, I also teared up this morning. Between having the opportunity to hear from Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesotans United Richard Carlbom and holding my hand on my heart for our National Anthem – I was moved. To see thousands of my fellow Minnesotans stand up for equality was so very inspirational.
To everyone that came out today to celebrate equality and love, thank you. This is OUR movement and we are creating change every single day. Today reminded me that no matter what, even on the worst of days, we are making a difference across Minnesota.
Just like those runners today, we are in the final sprint to that finish line. With less than 40 days to go, Minnesota, we are so close to voting NO!
By now, we all know where the major party candidates running for President stand on the topic of same-sex marriage equality. What you may not know, however, is the backstory that got us here.
I’ve already shared several articles and blogs about how support of same-sex marriage made it into the Democratic Platform (here and here). The following provides a little bit of background on the Republican Platform.
In late August, the Republican platform committee voted on a proposed plank that would have added the recognition of civil unions for unmarried couples – both gay and straight – to the party platform. The plank, proposed by Rhode Island representative Barbara Ann Fenton, did not pass.
Even though the proposed plank was defeated, there was still an attempt to clarify the language around “traditional marriage.” According to Politico:
…Nevada representative Pat Kerby tried to amend the traditional marriage section to say that every American should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they are not hurting anyone else. He said that the GOP should focus on an economic message, not waging the culture wars.
However, Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach disagreed. In fact, he contended that the government still “condem[s]” activities like drugs and polygamy even though they aren’t hurting anyone else. (Sad to see love between two people compared to drugs and polygamy.)
But it wasn’t just Kobach that spoke out. There were many others willing to speak out against civil unions. The final result:
The GOP will maintain its official support for a constitutional amendment that would “protect traditional marriage” by defining it as between a man and a woman.
Yes, you read that right: The GOP maintains it’s support for a constitutional change to “protect traditional marriage.”
Of course, this is just one issue within the Platform, however, it’s a pretty big one for most reading this blog. Educate yourself on the Platforms from both sides and then cast your vote this November.
I’m standing with the guy that opposes amending the Minnesota state constitution to limit the rights of committed same-sex couples.
Note: You can learn more about the discussion and see more quotes from the platform committee via Politico.
I believe very strongly that the Civil Rights Movement extends out to [LGBT] individuals… We all should have equal rights. We are on the wrong side of history on November 6 by voting for the amendment. It is going to cause barriers and walls to be built up around a segment of our society that is truly deserving of a right to share a piece of the American Dream. I do not agree nor do I support the amendment. And as a Black clergy person, I know that I am…in the minority of Black clergy, but I find it appalling that people that have suffered the way African Americans have suffered in this country, that we can come out against any segment of our society.
Reverend Jacson Moody, Holsey Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Source: TC Daily Planet
Moody is quoted in an article that speaks to how the marriage amendment is dividing African American Christians and clergy.
If you haven’t seen the second television commercial put together by Minnesotans United for All Families yet, go ahead and take a look.
In addition to the spot, here’s some additional background on the spot:
The new ad features John Gamoke, a Richfield man who says his marriage of 22 years is the most important thing in his life. He asks, “who am I to deny that to anybody?”
A spokeswoman for Minnesotans United for All Families says Gamoke is an actor but that he’s speaking about his real marriage.
I was a little bit surprised to see that Gamoke is an actor. With all of the real Minnesotans out there that believe this amendment has no place in the land of 10,000 lakes, I wonder why we didn’t use one of them?
Regardless, several people have shared that they thought the commercial had an impact. Personally, I’m not so sure.
What are your thoughts?
From Rochester to Duluth, there continue to be an increase in the number of articles around the mean-spirited marriage amendment. This one, from WXOW.com, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, speaks to the divide between voters in the state.
Perhaps the most striking visual presented in the article is this one:
Driving by homes in Rochester, a yard sign reads say Yes to the marriage amendment… Yet the next yard’s sign reads the opposite, “Vote No… Don’t Limit the Freedom to Marry.” It’s an example of how split Minnesotans are on the issue.
Quotes from both sides of the issue are included in the article. Colette Sweeney makes a great point:
If people can discuss it then they are able to talk about their fears, talk about their concerns in an open way and in that way they become better informed instead of being told there’s only one way to think.
Each of us needs to remember that conversations change minds. We’ve made tremendous progress this past year and now we’re in our final push. Regardless of where you live in the great state of Minnesota, your help is needed now, more than ever, to help Minnesotans understand the importance of voting NO.
With 40 days to go, I’m asking all of my friends to consider donating to help us defeat this mean-spirited amendment. Dozens of billboards from the other side are going to be plastered across the state and scare-tactic commercials will start in just a couple days.
Every single dollar will help. Whether you live in Minnesota or are reading this from afar, please consider donating to the cause. Whether you can afford to give $155 dollars or $5 dollars, it all adds up.
Did you know: If every single visitor donated $20, we would blow the $5,000 goal out of the water?
Thank you for continuing to read and share these posts. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for standing up for MY equality.
Earlier this month, I blogged about a viral video I found online where a man proposes to his long-time boyfriend. At the time, this is what I had to say:
In case anyone ever asks why we’re fighting so hard for equality… Take a couple minutes to watch this YouTube video. You’ll quickly see that while it may be two men, love looks the same.
Today, I was reading the couple’s backstory on The Advocate, and it’s a great one:
On April 28, I proposed to my boyfriend, Tommy, in front of 700 people at his former college a cappella group’s spring concert, which marked the 20th anniversary of the group.
The overwhelming amount of love and support we received that night, from friends, strangers, male, female, young, old, gay, straight, was just incredible to experience. That night, it didn’t matter what beliefs people held, everyone could see that love is love and that it knows no bounds.
The couple will be getting married on October 12, 2013 in honor of Matthew Shepard’s life and the legacy his parents have created with the Matthew Shepard Foundation. You can read more about their story, including an inspirational message from Kyle himself, on The Advocate.
On October 2, St. Louis County may be the first County Board in the entire state of Minnesota to come out in opposition of the mean-spirited amendment. The Board is slated to review a resolution proposed by Steve Raukar of Hibbing and Frank Jewell of Duluth that reads:
…Whereas the proposed amendment would be contrary to the purpose of the Minnesota Constitution to protect the rights, privileges and freedom of conscience of all citizens by withholding from some individuals and families important legal rights and obligations; and
Whereas the St. Louis County Board acknowledges and is committed to the importance of equality for all residents and citizens;
Now Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners in principle hereby goes on record in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment entitled ‘Recognition of Marriage solely between one man and one woman.’
Raukar believes that this resolution should be acceptable to most of the commissioners:
We aren’t telling people how to vote. We’re stating that we, as a board, oppose this as bad government policy.
Stay tuned, more to come! (Source: Duluth News Tribune)
In case you didn’t already know about how I feel about Hell’s Kitchen supporting equality…
Well now the restaurant has done it again! They’ve announced a Vote NO Rally on Thursday, November 1st via their Facebook page. As you can see, this Minneapolis business not only supports equality, they’re actively standing up to help make positive change in the community!
Mark your calendars now for this event. And if you can’t make it on November 1st, stop by Hell’s Kitchen between now and then to say “thank you” for the owners’ continued work to help us defeat this mean spirited amendment! Thanks, Hell’s Kitchen, for voting NO!
Today, the faculty at Hamline University voted to approve a resolution opposing the mean-spirited marriage amendment. 85 percent of eligible faculty supported the resolution while 10 percent voted against taking a public, anti-amendment stance.
According to KMSP-TV:
Having defined its stance, Hamline’s faculty is now calling on university president Linda Hanson to publicly oppose the marriage amendment.
Text of the resolution:
WHEREAS Hamline University is a learning community that values diversity and inclusiveness; and
WHEREAS Hamline University recognizes and embraces the values of the United Methodist Church; and
WHEREAS the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church has publicly opposed the Minnesota “marriage amendment; and
WHEREAS the Minnesota “marriage amendment” would deny civil rights to members of our community:
Be it resolved that we, the faculty of Hamline University, oppose the “marriage amendment” that seeks to enshrine discrimination in the constitution of the state of Minnesota, and
Be it resolved that we, the faculty of Hamline University, call upon President Linda Hanson, as Hamline’s representative, to affirm Hamline University’s values and its belief in liberal education by publicly opposing the “marriage amendment.”
With 41 days until election day, I hope to post news like this EVERY day from here on out!
There are two sides to this and the media is only showing one. But a traditional family, one man and one woman, is the best chance kids have. We are supposed to love each other, but when it comes to any sort of sexual intimacy between two people of the same sex, it is a sin.
Leroy Fickert, 64-year-old retiree, Dodge Center, Minnesota
Source: Star Tribune
Yesterday, I shared an article that looked at the differences between voters, young and old. It is important to note that previous elections show that older voters, like Fickert, typically support marriage amendments. However, it is equally important to note that not all older votes are in favor of writing inequality into the state constitution – nor all young voters against an amendment like this.
If you have any doubt, check out this video put together by Minnesota for Marriage that highlights a wide-spectrum of voters that express their support of the amendment.
We can’t limit our conversations and engagement to any one group; if we’re going to beat this thing, we need to engage both young and old!
Recently, I exchanged multiple emails with an amendment supporter. She challenged me that if we allow gay marriage, we open the door to all sorts of different kinds of marriages. I shared with her my “Note to Jessie” where I debunk several of the scare tactics the other side uses to say that this change to “traditional” marriage opens up Pandora’s box.
However, she was still not satisfied. So, I took to Google. In my research, I found a rather enjoyable 2-minute YouTube video from John Corvino. In the video, Corvino addresses the question:
And people say, ‘well if you make one change to marriage, why not make any other change?’ To which my answer is, ‘because each of these things needs to be evaluated on its own merits.’
Whether it’s a good idea to allow people to marry one unrelated person of the same sex is a different question from whether it’s a good idea to allow them to marry multiple partners, or their relatives or their pets, or their kitchen appliances or whatever.
Of course, if you marry your kitchen appliances, what are people going to get you as a shower gift?
Corvino answers the question using humor, history and examples to explain the reasoning why this comparison doesn’t make sense.
While I doubt this video will satisfy the amendment supporter that has been emailing me, it did make me smile. Sometimes, you need to keep perspective when having these types of conversations. It’s too easy to get stuck arguing or frustrated with the other side. Every now and again, you just need a little bit of humor to get back up on your feet to fight the good fight!