…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* ;)
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,
Yesterday, Workday Minnesota shared an article featuring quotes from several union leaders as to why they are voting no on the mean-spirited marriage amendment:
“People ask, ‘why is labor coming out against this? — It’s a social issue,’” acknowledges Mark Bradley, Roseville, a member of two unions, SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity. He offers a ready answer: “It affects our members directly. It affects their benefits. It affects our members’ personal lives.”
Another quote shared focuses on the fact that unions have a history of standing up for civil rights:
“The labor movement has long stood in support of civil rights for all people and this case is no different,” says Bill Heaney, St. Anthony Village, legislative and political director for the IBEW Minnesota State Council, which opposes the marriage amendment. He adds, “everything I was taught growing up from my folks reinforces how wrong it is.”
It’s a longer article, but it’s full of examples of different organizations standing up for equality and voting NO on the mean-spirited marriage amendment.
The coalition built across this state is strong; may the work that has been done up to this point help us defeat this freedom-limiting amendment!
Imagine my surprise when my phone buzzed this afternoon with the text:
YOU WERE QUOTED ON GLOBALPOST.COM [emphasis his]
Well sure enough, in an article titled “Minnesota marriage amendment a tight race,” Alex Pearlman includes a quote I shared about Frank Schubert and his strategy.
Schubert’s work via the National Organization for Marriage, which handles a significant amount of the contributions to block gay marriage amendments nation-wide has been accused of “twisting the truth” being “mean-spirited” and using “scare tactics” both in Minnesota and across the country.
“While there is nothing illegal about Schubert’s strategy, this behavior highlights the type of people that are running the campaign for amendment support. Schubert could care less about having a conversation and encouraging Minnesotans to consider both sides of the issue,” writes a blogger who goes by Mark and runs the site Minnesota for Equality. “He will do whatever it takes to make sure this mean-spirited amendment passes, and so far, his strategies have proven extremely successful.”
Is it weird that I just quoted someone that quoted me? :)
Polls are still open for just under 4 more hours. Let’s keep getting the word out and ensure that Minnesota votes NO!
If you need a final jolt of motivation going into today, check out this great Vote No Minnesota video posted on YouTube.
If it made you smile, reblog and share with your followers, too!
What an amazingly powerful moment in Minnesota’s history. Please, share with friends.
For those that may not be out yet, or have been struggling with this mean-spirited amendment even being on the ballot, let the below be a reminder that there is much good in this world.
May this inspire and give us hope for a Minnesota that votes NO.
Source: Twin Cities Pride Facebook page
In the final weeks before the election, we’ve seen numerous organizations, newspapers and businesses take a stand against the mean-spirited marriage amendment.
The below letter from Cummins, Inc. was shared by Minnesotans United for All Families today. In the letter, Tony Satterthwaite makes it clear that Cummins, Inc. believes a No vote is in the best interest of Minnesota:
Minnesota Marriage Amendment
October 18, 2012
At Cummins, diversity is a core company value. Diversity means our individual differences never have to be checked at the door. The leadership at Cummins has long argued that diversity creates a stronger and more competitive work environment, and ultimately helps us attract and retain top talent.
We have a history of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity. Our leaders championed the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s, we stood up against Apartheid in the 1980’s and in 2000, due in large part to feedback from our Minnesota employees, Cummins began offering domestic partner benefits, despite opposition. Simply put, Cummins strives to ensure all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
However, here in the state where we work and live, a battle to stifle diversity continues to be waged. SF 1308, which is commonly reffered to as the Marriage Amendment, is on the ballot in the form of a referendum this November. This amendment to the Minnesota Constitution would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman only. Current polling in Minnesota indicates that the vote on the Marriage Amendment will be very close, and could go either way.
Cummins strongly believes this amendment is bad for Minnesota, and Cummins is playing a key role among Minnesota businesses to defeat this amendment. The Marriage Amendment will negatively impact business in Minnesota by sending a message of intolerance and lack of respect for people of diverse backgrounds. Cummins understands that embracing the diverse perspectives of all people with different backgrounds makes our company stronger and more competitive.
Minnesota has traditionally been a good place for Cummins to do business. We expect our impact on Minnesota’s economy will grow as we add high-paying jobs to the job market in the future. However, the marriage amendment will create a less welcoming environment making it more difficult for companies like ours to attract and retain the top talent we need. Cummins wants to grow in Minnesota. Cummins wants an environment that respects all people. Cummins wants people to come to Cummins and to Minnesota because of our values and because of our welcoming communities. The Marriage Amendment runs counter to what people deserve and what Cummins values.
For these important reasons, Cummins is firmly opposed to the Marriage Amendment.
Vice President, Cummins Inc.
President, Cummins Power Generation, a division of Cummins Inc., based in Minnesota employing nearly 2,000 people in the state.
See a copy of the letter here:
Source: Minnesotans United
When all is said and done, those businesses that stood on the right side of history – and took a stand for equality – will be remembered.
On Friday, Minnesotans United posted the latest television commercial in the campaign. The first 10-seconds of the ad is narrated while the recent misleading Minnesota for Marriage commercial plays in the background. A female voice shares:
Unfortunately, supporters of the marriage amendment have been trying to mislead Minnesotans. These ads have been deemed false and misleading.
Statements including “false amendment 1 ads by out-of-state interests” and “WCCO: ‘False’ and ‘Misleading’” are displayed on top of the Minnesota for Marriage ad as the narrator speaks.
At 11s, the solid dark background of the ad is replaced with John and Elizabeth from Edina, Minnesota sitting at what appears to be their dining room table. The couple talk directly to the camera:
Elizabeth: Our parents taught us the Golden Rule, not judging others and treating others the way we’d like to be treated.
John: And those are the values we’re showing our children by voting no on the marriage amendment.
What do you think about this response? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
If you haven’t seen the latest 30-second ad from Minnesotans United, check it out now.
The commercial features Lutheran Bishop, Herbert Chilstrom, and his wife, Minister Corinne Chilstrom. Together, they share why they are voting no on the mean-spirited marriage amendment.
Herbert: When I was elected Bishop, gay couples started wanting marriage, and I said, I would rather not deal with that.
Corinne: And then we were invited to this meeting and we came into the living room and here were about 25 gay men. We just asked them, ‘What do you want from the church?’ They said, ‘We just want to be accepted like everyone else.’
Herbert: These brothers and sisters in Christ deserve my full support. That’s why we’re voting no.
Please share this video (Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as a reminder that many Christians are on our side and voting NO to discrimination.
As of today, MinnesotaForEquality.com has logged over 40,000 unique visitors! With over 71,000 pageviews on the site, Vote No Yard Signs from July 1, 2012 attracted the most visits.
After the election, I’ll share more statistics about visits and visitors, however, today I am celebrating the fact that one guy blogging from his bedroom has reached over 40,000 readers.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
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.
Recently, one of my colleagues snapped this picture and emailed it to me:
Of course, I was excited to jump online and recognize pacifier for standing up for equality. As I was getting ready to write this post, I searched for their Facebook page so that I could link to it here, and what I saw shocked me:
Not only is this business taking a visible stand for equality in their stores, they also offered to donate all proceeds of sales during the above weekend to Minnesotans United for All Families. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!
- Patronize the business online or in store. Let the owners know that you appreciate their support of equality for all Minnesotans
- Like the business on Facebook. As of today, the business has over 4,500 likes. Let’s show them some more love!
- Send the owners a personal note of thanks.
- Reblog this post or share a link on Facebook to build awareness and support for this local business.
[Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt] gave his life in Afghanistan protecting our freedoms. He was gay. I cannot look at this picture and say, corporal, you are good enough to fight for your country and give your life, but you are not good enough to marry the person you love.
John Kriesel, State Representative
Source: South Washington County Bulletin
This quote is from Republican Representative John Kriesel’s speech before the Minnesota House of Representatives in which he argued against putting up for a popular vote whether or not we should limit the rights of marriage. He was one of only two Republicans that voted against the amendment.
Earlier this week, I posted the 5th television spot that Minnesotans United for All Families released in which they incorporate part of Kriesel’s speech.
A powerful reminder that this amendment impacts REAL Minnesotans. I hope you will join me in saying NO to writing discrimination into our state constitution.
There have been so many moments over the past year where I’ve been proud to be a Minnesotan. A kind gesture, an inspiring email and wonderful stories across the land of 10,000 lakes remind me why I’ve made Minnesota home.
Last week, Cheryl Schmillen of Granite Falls wrote a letter to the editor in which she shares her reasons for voting no: She believes that the State Constitution should “uphold our rights, not take them away.” There’s another reason, too:
I also have a very personal reason to oppose this amendment. That reason involves my nephew. He grew up in a small town near here; got his degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and recently he received his doctorate from Columbia University in New York. Yes, that Ivy League school.
He now has a great job in Chicago. He has accomplished so many things and he has contributed so much to society in his young life already. He treats others with kindness and respect and I’m very proud of him. He happens to be gay and in a committed relationship.
You’ll notice how Schmillen introduces her nephew: two paragraphs about what he’s already accomplished in his life. Oh, and he also happens to be gay and in a committed relationship. So why shouldn’t he have the same rights as everyone else? It is stories like these from all across the state that remind us the importance of fighting for equality.
Schmillen concludes her letter beautifully. In fact, I know that I will quote her in the future:
My thought is that we certainly don’t need more hate and discrimination in the world but more compassion, understanding, and acceptance.
What a wonderful sentiment. I look forward to living in a Minnesota that stands up for what is right and says NO to amending the constitution to limit the freedom to marry.