Some good news for my friends in Washington State tonight: The latest poll from Public Policy Polling shows that the majority of Washington supports equality.
Q6 Do you think same-sex marriage should be legal or illegal?
Legal …………………. .54%
Illegal ………………… .40%
Not sure …………….. . 5%
Even with the margin of error, it appears that Washington residents will reaffirm a decision made earlier this year to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
Of course, now is not the time to let up! With 3 days to go, all states facing amendment battles on marriage must ensure a strong get out the vote effort.
To my friends in Washington State, good luck!!
In yet another sign of growing opposition to the mean-spirited marriage amendment, the Editorial Board of the Star Tribune published an open letter this evening publicly opposing the amendment:
On Nov. 6 voters will be asked to add a ban on marriage between gays and lesbians to the state Constitution. At its core, the debate is about fairness and freedom — and about what does or does not belong in our Constitution.
With those key principles in mind, Minnesota should be the first state in the nation to decline such a proposal. Denying something as basic as marriage to two committed adults has no place in a state’s most important legal document.
The Editorial Board refutes several arguments from amendment supporters, including the claim that somehow allowing same-sex couples the opportunity to wed would harm children and families:
As to the “defense” of traditional marriage: There is no legitimate proof that same-sex marriages have any impact whatsoever on other families or relationships.
Yes, some marriages produce children, but many do not. It’s certainly not the sole reason for marriage in modern society. Yet studies have shown that marriage is indeed good for children — the commitment tends to result in more stability and responsibility from the adults involved — whether the parents are gay or straight.
There’s a lot more to the letter than the above, be sure to check it out in its entirety. The Editorial Board conclude their letter with a powerful close:
We’d urge voters to think about the gay or lesbian friend and coworker in the next cubicle, the nice same-sex couple down the street, or the beloved gay family member. They have the same hopes and dreams as heterosexuals, and for many that includes the desire to marry and form a family with the person they love.
In our hearts and souls, we Minnesotans are basically fair people who believe in human rights. That fundamental sense of humanity should lead to a “no” vote on the marriage amendment.
Thank you, Star Tribune, for standing on the right side of history.
In March of this year, I shared how the National Organization for Marriage had been promoting “ex-gay therapy” as a way to help change people from being gay. NOM, the primary funding arm behind Minnesota for Marriage, shows what these groups are really after through their advocacy of such practices. Make no mistake, these amendment supporters may hide behind the “protecting traditional marriage” argument, however, advocacy of reparative therapy practices shows their true colors.
With that said, I’m happy to say that this weekend, California has officially become the first state in the country to ban these reparative therapy practices for minors:
This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.
Governor Jerry Brown, California
I hope that other states will follow California’s lead. Let’s stop telling our youth that they need to be repaired for who they are. I said it back in March and I’ll say it again: NOM, your advocacy of these practices is shameful. The damage this organization does to society is far greater than any of the supposed consequences allowing gay marriage would have.
By now, you may have heard of NBC’s newest show for the fall lineup, The New Normal.
The show tells the unconventional story of raising a family:
Bryan and David are a Los Angeles couple, and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed, loving partnership, there is one thing that this couple is missing: a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie… (source: NBC.com)
But according to One Million Moms:
NBC is using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and the sanctity of marriage in attempting to redefine marriage. These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture.
If this weren’t enough, One Million Moms goes on to make the claim:
Millions of Americans strongly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. NBC’s “The New Normal” is attempting to desensitize America and our children. (emphasis theirs)
Desensitize our children? Really One Million Moms, you think NBC is attempting to desensitize our children? That claim is as absurd as the scare tactics Minnesota for Marriage and Frank Schubert are making around the mean-spirited marriage amendment.
With OMM attack against Ellen and several other infamous battles over the past six months, at some point you’ve got to wonder when One Million Moms simply becomes irrelevant?
Author’s note: I have seen the pilot episode of The New Normal and I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you’d like to see the pilot or the first episode, check out NBC.com.
Wouldn’t it be great if every day I could post: “[xyz] opposes marriage amendment!” This week, we’ve seen amendment opposition continue to grow. Both Mankato and Augsburg College have spoken publicly about their opposition to the mean-spirited amendment.
According to MPR:
The announcement Tuesday makes the Minneapolis liberal arts school the first traditional university in the state to come out against the amendment. The Minneapolis-based online institution Capella University has also gone on record against it.
As a public school teacher, I accepted each and every one of my students no matter their race, gender, religion, social status, economic level or sexual orientation. I created a classroom in which all of my students were welcomed and valued and respected. It did not matter to me if some of my students were gay or lesbian or if they came from homes with two dads or two moms.
Good families and loving homes with parents who are committed to each other are good for kids. Period. And marriage is the most recognized and celebrated public, formal, binding and traditional way for two loving people to say, “I love you, and I want to form a family with you.”
Marie Blumhardt, Bemidji
Source: The Bemidji Pioneer
Last month, Marie Blumhardt shared her thoughts with The Bemidji Pinoeer on the marriage amendment. Take a minute to read her letter in its entirety, as her words are inspiring. It gives me great hope that people like Blumhardt are educating the leaders of our future.
Great Kare11 Story on how “gay marriage foes” are seeking corporate neutrality.
It turns out that The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is at it again. This time, they’ve sent letters to 50 of Minnesota’s largest companies asking for them to remain neutral on the marriage amendment.
According to NOM’s Jonathan Baker:
What we’re asking businesses to do is to create a work environment that welcoming to all of the employees. And they can do that through adopting a neutral stance over the Minnesota Marriage amendment.
In the clip, Tom Horner (who ran for govenor in 2010) reminds us that this issue has much larger impacts to business is Minnesota than NOM would have you believe; it’s about attracting a talented workforce and the economics of diversity:
A recent study showed the Twin Cities metropolitan area is about 5th or 6th in the country in attracting these kinds of workers… Not just gays and lesbians, but all educated workers who want to live in a community that welcomes diversity, that embraces diversity.
I’ll find the text from the letter NOM sent to the 50 businesses and post it shortly.
This will go down as one of the dumbest corporate PR stunts of all time.
Brian Brown, NOM President, June 14, 2012
Source: NOM Press Release
In a Press Release titled, “General Mills Declares War on Marriage with Its Own Customers,” Brian Brown lashes out at the Minnesota-based company for “declaring war on marriage” for opposing the mean-spirited marriage amendment on ballots this fall.
Note: I’ve posted about NOM many times in this blog (to see some more of their antics; just search NOM on the right side bar).
A day after General Mills’ CEO Ken Powell announced that his company would oppose the mean-spirited marriage amendment this fall facing Minnesota voters, Ken Charles, VP Global Diversity and Inclusion, shared his thoughts on the company’s blog for the world to see.
In addition to talking about how General Mills will oppose the marriage amendment this fall, Charles goes on to talk about how he had the opportunity to testify before the U.S. Senate in support of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA); an act that would extend protections in hiring, promoting and advancing LGBT employees.
And in a single moment, the world understands General Mills’ commitment to diversity and inclusion. Here’s hoping that other Minnesota-based companies follow their leadership.
I leave you with the final words of Ken Charles’ blog post:
General Mills’ mission is Nourishing Lives. Not just some. But all. Living that mission is part of who we are.
Tonight, I had the honor to attend General Mills’ annual Pride reception. This is the second year I’ve had the opportunity to attend the event, and as Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer, shared, there were more than 200 companies represented tonight.
But what really stole the show was when CEO, Ken Powell took the stage to talk about how his company supports diversity and inclusion and how there is a big issue facing Minnesota this fall and that has to do with marriage. Specifically, the proposed constitutional amendment that would update our state constitution to ban marriage between same-sex couples.
Here’s what Mr. Powell had to say on that. Be prepared to be amazed:
…on a proposed constitutional amendment in November. If passed, this amendment would define marriage in our state constitution as being between one man and one woman, effectively banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota. If defeated, Minnesota voters would send a strong message about our state’s view of the importance of inclusiveness and diversity. I think it’s very clear that the outcome of this election is very uncertain. Ban proponents have won most ballot contests, but Minnesota is seen as one of the best opportunities in the nation to defeat such a ban. Maybe building on the momentum of states like New York and Washington. And frankly, I don’t think we know what will happen.
But we know what position General Mills will take, and I want to share that with you myself.
For decades, General Mills has worked to create an inclusive culture that welcomes and values the contributions of everyone. We’re proud of our workplace, we’re proud to be an employer of choice, we’re proud to be a leader for diversity and inclusion.
So I want to be clear: We oppose the proposed constitution…
[Cheers and applause, standing ovation for Mr. Powell]
We oppose the amendment. We don’t believe it’s in the best interest of our state, our business, or our employees. As a Minnesota-based business, we oppose it.
Talk about an inspiration. I can’t help but think what a historic moment this was to be part of and I’m so thankful for CEO Ken Powell’s support along with the support of General Mills.
Congratulations to my friends and colleagues in Betty’s Family. You deserve to be very proud.
You may remember a post I shared a couple weeks ago regarding Target Corp. and their neutral stance on the marriage amendment. Well, have I got news for you!
Last Sunday, the retailer announced a “Wear it with Pride” campaign featuring a collection of Pride tshirts just in time for summer. Tshirts include words like “Harmony” and “Pride.” One design in the collection was created by rocker Gwen Stefani and reads, “Love is Love.” Even better, 100% of the entire purchase price is being donated to the Family Equality Council (an organization working to promote equality for LGBT families).
Almost immediately, Target began receiving backlash from groups like Minnesota for Marriage and the American Family Association for, and I quote, “ramming same-sex marriage down the throats of the American people.” (source)
When groups like the AFA make such ridiculous statements, it mobilizes the LGBT community and their allies who help refute these claims. One of the posts I read last night said that Target was “attacking traditional marriage.” About half a dozen people posted in response asking the author how a collection of tshirts is threatening their marriage. One poster called out the irony behind leaders who make these claims and the fact that some of them have had three to four of their own “traditional marriages!” That made me chuckle.
In response to the hubbub, Target released the following statement:
Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business and has a long history of supporting the LGBT community through giving, volunteerism and event sponsorship and participation. Target does not believe that a constitutional fight over the issue is good for Minnesota or the state’s ability to attract jobs and grow the economy. Consistent with our long-standing support of civic engagement, we are encouraging our team members to exercise their right to vote.
Yeah. Read that again:
Target does not believe that a constitutional fight over the issue is good for Minnesota or the state’s ability to attract jobs and grow the economy.
I was sitting at my desk when one of my co-workers emailed me the link to theKare11.com article and I was floored! While Target has a long history of supporting the LGBT community (Pride, Project 515, Red Ribbon Ride, AIDS Walk, Bridge for Youth, Out & Equal, domestic partner benefits, partner discount, partner leave to name a few), I’m not sure I was expecting to see a statement like this considering the controversy over the Minnesota Forward donation a couple years back (which I talked about in my previous blog post). But I’ll take it!
Minnesota for Marriage has already used all of this to mobilize their base asking for each person to donate $100 to offset the dollars Target will donate to the Family Equality Council. I’m expecting that One Million Moms will probably have something to say about this whole situation as well.
But even still, this is a historic day as another one of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies has ‘come out’ against this mean-spirited amendment.
Thank you for supporting all families, Target. You make me very proud.
Author’s note: Target team member involved with Target’s LGBTA Business Council.
It’s been a couple weeks now since the President of the United States came out in favor of same-sex marriage. There have been many stories posted since as to whether or not this will help or hurt the Minnesota Marriage Amendment fight.
As you can imagine, both sides claim that it will help their side. Opponents to the amendment say that Obama’s proclamation will help mobilize voters and young people. Proponents of the amendment say that it’s just what they need to help people understand why they must speak up now to define marriage once and for all so that politicians don’t define it for them.
It’ll be interesting to watch this all unfold and read through the analysis on Obama’s decision. While I don’t think his statement will change many minds, I do agree with the article that it should help re-energize and mobilize voters.
On Saturday, the NAACP passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right and opposing efforts to build discrimination or hatred into law. This is a very important day for the marriage equality movement, as this should help increase black voter support of same-sex marriage. If you wonder why this is so important, look back to California where exit polling found 70% of black voters opposed same-sex marriage in 2008.
Here is hoping that our Allies in ALL communities in Minnesota step up and speak out against this mean-spirited amendment. The acknowledgement by the NAACP that same-sex marriage is truly a civil right should hopefully help increase support from black voters and reduce the likelihood of another California.
“Obama’s Gay Marriage Gamble,” that’s what the headline at the Wall Street Journal reads today. According to the article, a New York Times and CBS News poll showed that 67% of respondents think that Obama made the announcement supporting same-sex marriage for “mostly political reasons.” Interesting. What are your thoughts?
2-minute clip from ABC News where President Obama affirms his support of same-sex marriage. May 9, 2012, a monumental day in the gay rights movement.