I wanted to provide a quick update to my followers and those that may stumble upon this site.
In NOvember, we defeated the mean-spirited marriage amendment in Minnesota. However, please don’t think that my lack of updates means that our work is done. We still have a journey ahead of us in 2013, and for years to come, to help create a culture of equality for committed same-sex couples.
With that said, I’ve taken a pause from my work here as my father is very sick and my family has been helping to care for him here in Minnesota over the past couple of months. He is currently in a home hospice program and we continue to celebrate each day we have with Dad.
Please know that I appreciate all of the support each of you has provided over the past year. You helped make a big difference, not only in Minnesota, but around the nation in helping Minnesota become the first state to defeat one of these freedom-limiting amendments.
Please don’t let your voice be silenced now.
Thank you for everything you’ve done and will continue to do,
On Wednesday, Minnesota for Marriage officially conceded defeat and published the following letter on their website:
“Despite the disappointing outcome of this election, we rejoice tonight that marriage is still marriage. We know that God has defined marriage as between one man and one woman, regardless of the efforts of some to overthrow His design,” said John Helmberger, Chairman of Minnesota for Marriage.
“We give thanks to God for His creation of marriage, and we commit ourselves to work and pray that attempts to redefine marriage in our courts and legislature will not succeed.”
“However, this election is not an end but a beginning. The groups that have come together to protect the definition of marriage look forward to getting on with the work of restoring a vibrant culture of marriage in our state.”
“We want to thank all our supporters and volunteers who have donated their time and resources in this effort to protect marriage. And, we are grateful for the steadfast support of the thousands of pastors and faith leaders that came together – across denominational and faith lines – in an effort to preserve marriage as the vital institution it has been since the dawn of time.”
“In particular, I’d like to thank our entire campaign staff including:
- Deputy Campaign Dir., Andy Parrish,
- Statewide Political Dir., Crystal Crocker,
- Communications Dir., Chuck Darrell,
- Youth and Minority Outreach Dir., Winnie Okafor,
- Spokesperson, Autumn Leva,
- Directors of Pastor Outreach, Pastor Brad Brandon and Pastor Jeff Evans,
- Political Outreach Assistants: DeeDee Larson, Janna Schmidt, and Gabriella Linder.”
“It’s been an incredibly close and hard-fought race, and it is clear that we have a lot of work to do to restore the kind of vibrant marriage culture we want to leave for our children and grandchildren,” concluded Helmberger.
For years, foes of same-sex marriage had a potent talking point: They’d won every time the issue went to a popular vote. That winning streak has now been shattered in a multi-state electoral sweep by gay marriage supporters – a historic tipping point likely to influence other states and possibly even the Supreme Court.
A great article on the marriage amendment vote and overall fight for marriage equality across the nation.
The article also quotes a defeated Brian Brown, President for the National Organization for Marriage:
Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case.
Clearly, Brown, and others like him, are not going down without a fight. While we may have won the battle on Tuesday, it’s clear that the war rages on.
Yesterday, a visitor to the site sent me an email with a simple request: Please pass along the following message to Father Mike Tegeder.
Jesus Christ is very proud of you today. The letter you wrote to the StarTribune encouraging the bishop to resign took the kind of courage, conviction and love that Christ himself exhibited. The bishop is a bully and you stood up to him in Christ’s name. I have been disenfranchised with the Church. Your words have given me hope.
While I don’t know that this comment will ever reach its intended recipient, I at least wanted to give it a fighting chance. I’m so proud of the courage that Tegeder displayed through this campaign; he provides a reminder that many Christians supported equality in Minnesota.
It’s also a reminder for all gay Christians: God and gay can co-exist and you are welcome in houses of worship across this great state.
…there’s a rally underway to celebrate what amounts to a victory for supporters of gay rights
That’s how Randy Meier introduces this 3-minute news story on the United for Our Future Rally that I had the opportunity to attend last night. It was fun to watch this video, as it brought me right back to the energy and emotion of Wednesday night.
Oh, and you get a quick glimpse of the back of my head… *grin* ;)
In addition to Minnesota, you’ve heard me talk about Maine, Maryland and Washington throughout the past year. Well, I’m happy to officially report that Washington State has finally been called: Washingtonians have stood for equality and voted in favor of same-sex marriage!
That means that each of the four states that voted on marriage equality on Tuesday took a stand on the right side of history!
Here’s a great graphic from TheFour.com that currently graces my Facebook Profile!
Congratulations to all of my friends in Maine, Maryland, Washington and of course, Minnesota.
As of today, MinnesotaForEquality.com has logged over 50,000 unique visitors! The site has attracted nearly 90,000 pageviews, and is having its busiest week (not surprisingly).
In fact, there was so much traffic that the site was down for a little bit in the wee hours of November 7th as traffic crashed the database. Sorry about that for anyone who received a yucky database error! ;)
It’s so neat to read how I concluded my November 3 milestone update:
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.
3 more days to go.
Well, Minnesota, we did indeed defeat this thing! Congratulations!
After two and a half days with little to no sleep, it’s time to crawl into bed and truly rest. In attending the United for Our Future Rally tonight at the State Capitol, I know that I am not the only one going on little sleep.
Thank you to every single person out there that fought tirelessly the past couple of days – and all year, for that matter – to help us achieve what no state has done before us: a defeat on an anti-marriage amendment.
Before I fall into slumber, I wanted to share with you the statement released from Richard Carlbom, Campaign Manager of Minnesotans United, on the win:
Today, the people of Minnesota spoke loudly and clearly and became the first state in the country to defeat this kind of hurtful, freedom-limiting amendment. They said no to limiting the freedom of committed and loving couples in Minnesota, they said no to singling out and excluding one group of people from a basic freedom just because of who they are, and they said no to telling some people it’s illegal to marry the person they love.
The strength of this campaign was our thousands of volunteers, and our broad and diverse coalition of partners. This campaign did something that has never been done before: it brought together people of all faiths, in all communities, and of all political affiliations on the principle that freedom means freedom for everybody. The strength of those who have come together and worked to defeat this amendment was rewarded today, and without their work, this would not have been possible.
This campaign has changed the course of politics in our state forever. Over the course of the last year and a half, we’ve sparked an honest, statewide conversation about why marriage matters and who should have the freedom to participate in it. Today, Minnesotans voted in favor of love, freedom, and fairness – because that’s what this state is about.
For many, faith in what is good has been restored.
One of my friends posted this online earlier today and I was so inspired that I printed my own “thank you!” message and taped it onto my sign.
A simple gesture to those who stood on the side of equality, yesterday.
So if you’re wondering what to do with your Vote No yard sign now that the election is over, here’s an idea that will at least last through the weekend!
As of an hour ago, just under 99 percent of precincts have now reported and equality has officially won out. Amendment supporters are at 47.65% right now, short of the majority needed to amend the Minnesota State Constitution.
According to TwinCities.com:
The Associated Press said around 1:45 a.m. that the marriage amendment was defeated.
But Chuck Darrell of Minnesota for Marriage, the lead group supporting the amendment, wasn’t giving up.
“No, we’re not conceding. There’s just too many counties out there,” he said.
But, as the numbers now show, it’s now clear that the NOs have it.
It’s a historic day for Minnesotans. We will forever be able to look back on this day and say, “We stood for equality and what is right and we voted NO on discrimination.”
Lots of graphics making an appearance on Facebook today! While this one looks like any other orange and blue image, when you look closer, you see the true power of this graphic. The orange background is made up of real Minnesotans that have fought so hard to defeat this mean-spirited amendment.
We worked side-by-side. We told our stories. We voted.
And together, we helped Minnesota Vote NO.
I’m going to keep this brief for this evening: Congratulations. You stood on the side of equality and said NO to the mean-spirited marriage amendment. Today, you made history. Not only here in the land of 10,000 lakes, but around the world. We are the first state in the nation to defeat one of these mean-spirited measures.
I said early on when I started this blog, “The tide isn’t changing, it’s already changed.” Tonight confirms that belief for me. We celebrate with Maryland and Maine that also voted in favor of equality today and we wait, with excitement, for Washington state to be called on Wednesday.
For all of your support and everything you’ve done to help defeat this amendment, from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you.
To a new day,