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.
Here’s a quick update on the four states voting on marriage equality:
Maryland (4% reporting)
Maine (4.8% reporting):
Minnesota* (3% reporting):
Polls still open
*Reminder, a NO vote in Minnesota keeps an anti-marriage amendment out of our constitution. Maryland and Maine are voting for same-sex marriage, so a yes there is a good thing.
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!!
I thought it would be neat to share a blog post I created six years ago, entitled, “five days.”
five days left
that’s it folks. five days left until wisconsin residents go to the polls to vote on the civil unions and marriage ban. i can’t tell you the gamut of emotions i’ve gone through – everything from excitement to defeat. as i sit here tonight, i realize that in just over 5 days it’ll all be over. the efforts of thousands of people across the state. the millions of dollars spent on the campaign. the canvassing. the phone calls. the worry.
this will be one of my last pleas for your help. if you haven’t already signed up to volunteer, please do so. if you’ve not had the chance to donate to the campaign, please do so. if you’ve not had the opportunity to talk to coworkers, friends and loved ones, make it happen. we’ve got 5 days left to win this thing, and we’re going to need each and every one of them.
please, help me and thousands of others stand up and tell wisconsin, tell the nation, that we won’t stand for discrimination. we won’t stand for hate.
here in wisconsin, we stand for fairness. and in 5 days, a fair wisconsin must vote NO.
But as you know, we didn’t quite make it in Wisconsin. When all was said and done, the amendment passed by nine percentage points.
It’s amazing to me that if you simply replace the word Wisconsin with Minnesota, this post is still just as relevant today as it was six years ago. In reality, it’s tremendously sad that we’re still having to fight this fight.
Minnesota, we have 5 days until we go to the polls and vote. And we are so very close to being the first state to defeat one of these amendments; we can’t stop fighting now.
To all of my friends in Wisconsin, this amendment defeat is in your honor…
It’s been three-and-a-half years since Iowa legalized same-sex marriage. MPR recently ran a long piece on what has changed since that historic Iowa Supreme Court vote.
First, no lawsuits:
When the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, it was out of step with public opinion on the matter. But polls show acceptance among Iowans has grown since the ruling. There have been no lawsuits.
Second, no children are being “forced to learn about the ‘gay lifestyle.’” Instead, legalization of same-sex marriage may actually increase the quality of teachers attracted to Iowa:
Decorah School Superintendent Mike Haluska says legalization of same-sex marriage has not changed what’s taught in schools.
“As far as our curriculum is concerned, it hasn’t changed in regard to that,” Haluska said. “Conversation maybe in government class has changed just because it’s now the law, but curriculum, no.”
Haluska believes he has been able to attract top teachers because Decorah is seen as a welcoming community.
Amalia Vagts works for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and had this to say about the difference same-sex marriage has made in Iowa:
The reality is it hasn’t made a difference in most people’s lives… and it’s made a very positive, wonderful difference in some people’s lives.
And that’s just what would happen here in Minnesota. If we defeat this mean-spirited marriage amendment, for the majority of Minnesotans, there would be no impact. However, defeating this amendment would send a very clear message to committed same-sex couples: The citizens of Minnesota stand with you and support equality for all. Don’t let amendment supporters confuse the issue with their misleading advertisements and downright lies. Just take a look at what’s happening (or not happening) just south of our Minnesota border…
As many of my blog followers know, Minnesota is one of four states facing a vote on same-sex marriage this NOvember.
In Washington state, they are voting to uphold a law that was passed earlier this year legalizing gay marriage. Similar to Minnesota, same-sex opponents have started to run commercials and they’re using similar scare tactics to what we’re seeing here.
The Seattle PI dug into the claims and found out that, like here in Minnesota, opponents are intentionally misleading voters.
In one of the anti-same sex marriage commercials running in Washington state, a narrator shares:
“Religious groups such as Catholic Charities, in Boston and Washington, D.C., have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission — based on their religious beliefs — or accepting this new definition of marriage. As a result, they had to close their adoption program.”
However, that’s not really the truth. In fact, the chairman of the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Boston, Peter Mead, has this to say:
“Opponents of the freedom to marry ignore the truth and distort history when they talk about Catholic Charities of Boston and its decision to shut down its adoption services. I’m shocked and amazed that so many years later, they are making the false claim that Catholic Charities’ decision had anything to do with allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.”
As the Boston Globe has documented, Catholic Charities placed 13 children with gay couples BEFORE the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The children were largely from difficult backgrounds and among those “harder to place,” in Meade’s words.
Stopping the adoptions didn’t come about because of the fact that same-sex marriage was legal:
The orders came from above — and from across the Atlantic. ”In 2005, tragically and out of the blue, the Vatican ordered our diocese to cease using the single criteria of ‘best interest of the children,’” writes Meade. ”They ordered us to stop facilitating adoptions to qualified gay and lesbian households. “I objected strenuously for two reasons. First and foremost, the Church hierarchy was telling us to violate the best interests of the children who were in our care. It was an arbitrary edict that, to many of us, had nothing to do with what was best for these kids and undermined our moral priority of helping vulnerable children find loving homes.”
Meade goes on to talk about how the 42 directors of the Catholic Charties of Boston voted unanimously not to exclude gay and lesbian couples as they believed the Vatican edict was wrong.
“When the hierarchy insisted, the organization had no choice but to end Catholic Charities’ adoption services. To me, and seven other board members, that forced our hand. We could no longer serve on the board so we resigned.”
Meade concludes with:
“As a Catholic, my faith continues to call me to treat every person as a child of God. What happened in Massachusetts should not have happened. “But what’s made it even worse is twisting a tough and sad outcome of one Catholic Charities into a fear-baiting talking point by opponents of the freedom to marry. It’s not truthful and it only takes us further from loving our neighbor as God commands.
It is clear that certain organizations will do whatever it takes to ensure that same-sex couples cannot celebrate the love they have for one another. Hopefully, posts like this help provide additional education for those that may not be fully aware.
Note: Excerpts above from SeattlePI.com. Read the article in it’s entirety here.
For those of you that missed it this past week, Nordstrom adds their name to the growing list of businesses that have spoken out in favor of marriage equality:
With respect to our gay and lesbian employees, Nordstrom was an early adopter of adding sexual orientation to our anti-discrimination policy, which means we guarantee the same legal rights and protections in our workplace to gay and lesbian employees just as we do for other employees regardless of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical, mental or sensory disability, and gender identity.
We feel the next step in this journey is to now support freedom to marry, also called marriage equality. There is a lot of awareness of this issue across the country and we’ve heard from many employees and customers. We gave this thoughtful consideration and felt the time was right to come out in support of this civil rights issue. It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as our other employees.
Blake Nordstrom, President, Nordstrom, Inc
Pete Nordstrom, President of Merchandising, Nordstrom
Erik Nordstrom, President of Stores, Nordstrom
To read the complete letter and to see GLAAD’s coverage, check out GLAAD’s blog.
Nordstrom joins the likes of Starbucks, Google, Amazon.com, Microsoft, T-Mobile, REI, Nike and many other Washington businesses that support marriage equality.
For those that say the amendment facing Minnesotans is about “protecting” marriage or kids, take two minutes to read this story from Alabama. It’s a heartbreaking reminder of why we’re fighting hard in Minnesota to defeat this mean-spirited amendment.
Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand have been together for 14 years. They decided to start a family many years ago and went the route of artificial insemination. Now that their son is 6 years old, and in the first grade, an Alabama appeals court says to Searcy: You cannot adopt this child because Alabama passed a constitution amendment defining marriage.
A supporter of Alabama’s law banning same-sex marriage, Republican state Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa, said he believes this is the first time a court has upheld a 2006 constitutional amendment that declared marriage was between a man and a woman.
“This ruling solidifies the fact the institution of marriage includes a man and a woman raising the children,” Allen said.
People like Allen are so adamant in their beliefs that they would rather deny a 6-year old the opportunity to have two loving parents than acknowledge that our society is changing.
Please understand that this amendment in Minnesota does harm to real Minnesotans. If we vote NO and defeat it, nothing changes for those people like Allen: Marriage is already defined as one man and one woman in the state of Minnesota. But if it passes, life will change for committed same-sex couples. The above is just one example of how an amendment like this can be used against a portion of our society.
We’re better than that.
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.
We support Brendon’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment.
Dick Cass, President, Baltimore Ravens
Cass responds to a request from Maryland state delegate, Emmett C. Burns, Jr., asking the organization to discourage Brendon Ayanbadejo from speaking out on same-sex marriage in Maryland.
For the full story, check out my post from yesterday which includes excerpts from Burns’ letters, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s response and links to the full text of each letter.
Disclaimer: The post I am about to share includes some rough language. Some have argued that Kluwe’s language “sets our movement back,” however, I don’t necessarily agree with those views. Kluwe has clearly chosen each and every word and it is clear that he is very authentic in his letter.
In August, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke out in favor of the Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. State delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr. didn’t think this was appropriate. In fact, he wrote a letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens expressing this dissatisfaction: “I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employee…”
Late last week, deadspin published a letter written by Minnesota Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe in response to Burns’ letter. Kluwe makes it very clear (with the language to prove it) that Burns is out of touch. The letter opens:
I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level.
Kluwe goes on to outline, “in great detail,” how Burns’ views neglect the rights of American citizens. Here’s a small excerpt:
As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain.
If you’re looking for a good read (and can stomach some swearing), Kluwe’s letter is a must read.
It concludes with a post script:
P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.
In the past decade, 31 states put to a vote the question of whether or not gay people should be allowed to get married. 31 states have put those minority rights up to a vote and in all 31 of those states, that minority rights issue has gone down to defeat. But here’s the thing about rights. They’re not actually supposed to be voted on. That’s why they’re called rights.
Rachel Maddow, August 2010
Source: Politically Illustrated
Maddow speaks out in response to California’s passing of Prop 8 banning gay marriage in the state.
Yes, it’s true! Another Washington state -based company has come out in favor of marriage equality! According to the HRC, the Bellevue-based wireless company had this to say:
Our support of this issue is a reflection of our culture, how we do business, and our belief in the fair and equitable treatment of all employees.
Jim Alling, Interim CEO and COO
Just the other day, REI came out in support of marriage equality and now T-Mobile. Let’s keep that momentum going, Washington state. It will only serve as a reminder to Minnesota-based companies that their competitors are stepping up their game!
I’ve seen many articles and personal blogs that vary on how many states have already passed so-called marriage amendments. So I did some digging and put together a page that lists every single state that has passed an amendment to their state constitution. I’ve also included the year the amendment was passed and the support the amendment received in each state.
Up to this point, there have been 31 states that have passed amendments limiting the rights of marriage and/or civil unions. If this mean-spirited amendment passes in NOvember, Minnesota will be state number 32.
Of course, we also have the ability to be state number one. The first state in the Union to say NO to writing inequality into our state constitution.
As I think about the history books, I’d much rather be state number one! Let’s keep working to educate Minnesota voters and help our neighbors, colleagues, family and friends understand why it is so important to vote NO this fall.
Yet another company has come out in support of marriage equality in Washington state! Outdoor retailer, REI, announced their support through a blog post to the company’s 11,000 employees. CEO and President Sally Jewell had this to share:
Marriage equality is important to the co-op because the benefits, legal clarity and societal understanding that Warren and I have enjoyed these past 34 years should be available to any two people who want to express their love and make a permanent commitment to each other that is so clearly provided for in the legal definition of marriage.
REI joins the likes of Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft and other companies with a large presence in Washington state that have come out in favor of marriage equality.
Hey Minnesota CEOs, I think it may be time…