Morris Gildemeister of Hastings, wrote a letter to the Hastings Star Gazette titled, “Iowa is a good example of why amendment should pass.” With a title like that, you’d think that Mr. Gildemeister would actually speak to the impact that same-sex marriage has had in Iowa. He does not. Instead, he shares:
Anyone who believes children are best nurtured in a setting which includes both a man and woman must vote “Yes” on the proposed constitutional amendment this fall.
Hmmm. After reading Mr. Gildemeister’s letter, I got to thinking: I wonder what the impact of same-sex marriage has been in Iowa. So I did some research. Turns out:
- The Iowa economy sees an annual net gain of approximately $5.3 million by allowing same-sex couples to get married (UCLA)
- From April 2009 until March 2010, just over 2,000 same-sex couples were married in Iowa (10% of total marriages during that time)
- An August 2011 Public Policy Polling survey found 70% of those polled support the legal recognition of same-sex couples
Maybe Mr. Gildemeister should pick another state to compare Minnesota against if he’s trying to make a point that this amendment should pass. Sounds like marriage is still humming along in the Hawkeye State!
Here’s a fun article to start your day! It turns out that city officials estimate that New York City reaped $259 million dollars of economic benefits in the first full year of same-sex marriage being legal in the state. Between marriage licenses issued, hotel stays, guests traveling to the city and purchases, the money continues to roll in. Let’s not forget, with this money come jobs and tax revenue for the city as well!
I’ve heard several people say that we should be focusing on the economy this fall, not updating our constitution to define something that is already defined by law. Turns out, defeating this amendment could actually prove to be good for our economy in the long run!
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Quinn for sharing this story with the rest of the world. It seems that gay marriage might not be such a bad thing after all…
I found this video a while back and think it’s a great time to post as I’ve been talking a lot about how important individual conversations are. The 2-minute video above features a variety of Hollywood folks (including our favorite funny gal, Kathy Griffin) making marriage equality personal. Kathy starts out:
Ok, we all have friends, right? Now if somebody was going to hurt your friend, you wouldn’t let them. You would say something. You would do something.
While we all know the sad fact that Prop 8 passed in California, updating the state constitution to make same-sex marriage illegal, the video itself is still really effective. It’s effective because the various stars of the video make it personal:
When I heard about California’s Proposition 8, you know, the one that bans gay marriages… I thought of my friend Howard. My friend Sam. Rachel and Percy. I thought of my friend Sara. Changing the constitution to take away rights for my friend, the right to marry and have equal rights and live her life how she wants to do is something that I could never do. It’s not fair.
In addition, each person makes a plea to help get the word out:
It’s as easy as a call, a text or email to help spread this very important message. Do whatever you can, do whatever you can to reach out to loved ones, friends, families, enemies and urge them to not write discrimination into the California state constitution.
Take a few minutes to watch. Heck, I think I’m even going to drop Kath a note to see if she’ll send her support all the way up here to Minnesota. :)
Here’s to changing hearts and minds, one conversation at a time.
Last week, I shared the video of Republican, Maureen Walsh and how she spoke before the House of Representatives in Washington State in favor of marriage equality. Recently, the Seattle Times did a story on Ms. Walsh and the fact that gay donors from across the country have donated to her re-election campaign.
According to the Times:
It is a pattern that is becoming more common as more state legislatures tackle gay marriage: A Republican or a conservative Democrat takes a bold public stance in favor of same-sex marriage, and soon after, receives the support of wealthy donors trying to offset possible backlash.
This should be a clear message to those afraid to speak out against mean-spirited amendments: the LGBT community is a very loyal community. If you stand up for our rights, we will support you.
However, her opposition – Mary Ruth Edwards – is already speaking out:
After I looked up who my representative was, I said to myself: I don’t want to be represented by someone who says she is a Republican, but was a co-sponsor of the bill to redefine marriage.
It’ll be interesting to watch how those who vote in favor of marriage equality will be affected in the fall.
To Ms. Walsh, thank you again for standing up for equality and love.
In March, I posted about the importance of personal stories and shared a couple examples. One of those stories was from Maureen Walsh and how she spoke to the Washington State House of Representatives about marriage equality in Washington State. Tonight, I had the chance to watch her remarks via YouTube and I’m so glad I spent the 4 minutes to watch to this 51-year-old GOP legislator who voted for same-sex marriage.
Take a couple minutes now to watch the video. The power of stories change hearts and minds, Ms. Walsh’s story is proof of that.
Interesting read. New York Times article that paints the picture of two churches separated by many miles and on opposite sides of the marriage amendment.
In Raleigh, NC, Reverend Patrick Wooden speaks to how North Carolina had the support from God’s “high hand” in passing the state marriage amendment.
In Madison, WI, Reverend Susan Schneider preaches that drawing lines between who belongs and who doesn’t leaves Jesus out of the equation:
The only thing that has changed in the church since the first century is who is considered ‘us,’ and who is considered ‘them,’ ” she said. “The essential issue is the same: We aren’t sure ‘they’ belong with God at all. When I was young, a pastor said, whenever you draw a line between us and them, bear in mind that Jesus is on the other side of that line.
Religious organizations will play a large role in the fight for marriage equality. The article clearly highlights that this is true on both sides of the equation. I just fear that there’s a lot more money on the side of marriage amendment supporters…
Sharing the final results from WRAL.com on the North Carolina vote on Amendment One. I was watching the votes come in using this interactive map.
And just like that, Amendment One has passed. The majority in North Carolina have voted on the rights of the minority. Not only is this a sad day, it sends a scary message to us all.
I watched the news throughout the day and followed my friends at voteagainstamendmentone. While we knew the conclusion earlier in the night, it wasn’t until around 11:30pm CST that I finally took a screen cap of the polling numbers, updated Facebook, sent out a tweet to my followers and called it a night.
Every single time one of these votes happen, memories of Wisconsin come flooding back. The time and dedication. The door knocking. The storytelling. The pain of defeat. The anger. The frustration. The confusion. It all comes over me in a wave of emotion. Nearly six years later and yet it’s still so very fresh. Why? Because it’s a direct attack on me and those that I love.
I figured that tonight would be a good night to reblog a post I shared back on November 13, 2006. The post is a bit lengthy, but I’m hopeful that the words, feelings and thoughts will resonate and give comfort to those who just went through this defeat…
Well, it’s been almost a week since Wisconsin voted in favor of the civil unions and marriage amendment. I figured it was time to take a few minutes to share my thoughts and feelings with you… I don’t expect this to be a long post, rather, I just wanted to get out some of the thoughts that I have floating about my head.
First, I want to say that being out of the area for the election was tough. I know that it was lovely Orlando, but most of the night Tuesday was spent in my hotel room watching CNN and on dial-up to CNN.com watching the results come in. Very early it was decided that the amendment would pass, however, I stayed up to watch precinct by precinct come in. Yes, it was a forgone conclusion, we lost. And not by the 3-4% points that were predicted in the polls, nope. This amendment passed with nearly a 20% lead over the No voters.
Hmmm. That result triggered many reactions from anger and frustration to sadness to resentment to being Ok. I was mad that voters would do such a thing. I was mad that more friends and members of the gay/lesbian community didn’t get out and be vocal. I was mad at all of the people who told me “I’m voting yes” as I was out canvassing. And I was mad at Fair Wisconsin for giving me hope, creating, what I felt, to be a false sense of confidence.
Of course, as the anger subsided, sadness was waiting around the bend. All of the efforts, the time, the money, the knocking, the lit-drops, the letters… For what? (actually, I guess that’s a little bit of sadness mixed with frustration :) It was very disheartening to know that this thing passed in double-digit numbers.
So where am I now – now that it’s been a week and I’ve had a chance to digest a little? Well, I’m Ok. Yes, I still have a little bit of resentment there as I almost feel as though I was given a false sense of hope (more on this in a minute). I’m Ok though because the night wasn’t a total loss; quite the contrary. We ousted many individuals from government positions that did not support the gay/lesbian cause. The democrats took control of the house and senate. The political “right” realized that while the wedge issue of gay marriage may have driven up numbers of their base, it was not enough to win an election. Is that in itself a sign of change? I think so… Hmmm… rather, I hope so.
Not only that, but as we learned on Wednesday, Arizona was the first state in the entire country to finally take a stand and tell the world that they weren’t going to let their constitution be changed.
So really, I have to step back and look at the whole picture – and I ask that my friends do as well. While it certainly didn’t seem like a very “fair” night, the bigger picture hopefully shows signs of change. Not only that, but it was also very rewarding to read articles/posts from campaigns saying that Fair Wisconsin had an impact:
If you can win by losing, score one for Fair Wisconsin, the well-funded grass-roots group that led the unsuccessful fight against the amendment. In his victory speech, Gov. Jim Doyle, who scored his own impressive seven-point victory over U. S. Rep. Mark Green, also put a spotlight on the group, thanking it for its efforts.
Even Republican honchos begrudgingly credited Fair Wisconsin Wednesday for a strong get-out-the-vote effort that helped Democrats up and down the ticket.
Just how surprised were the GOP bosses by the turnout?
Before the election, their data concluded that Green needed 940,000 votes to unseat Doyle. In the end, Green topped that goal by 36,000 votes, yet he will soon be out of work.
“Usually, if you exceed your vote goal,” said Republican Party executive director Rick Wiley, “you win.”
So much for conventional wisdom.
So with all of that said, why the feeling of resentment toward Fair Wisconsin? Well, I guess in my mind, there has to be someone to blame. I do realize that, yes, I am being unfair, but I’ve come to realize over the past few days that it is something I need to do right now. Do I think Fair Wisconsin did a good job? Hell yes. Am I glad I supported them with time and money? Hell yes. And you know what? I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.
I know as time passes, so too will my frustration and resentment. I think probably the biggest thing that gets me is that feeling of false hope. Now I realize that you can’t ever make a difference, let alone win a campaign, if your slogan is “We already know we’re gonna lose,” but I just don’t understand how we were so wrong. We didn’t win by a few percentage points like we talked about Saturday before – instead, we lost by nearly 20. That seems like a pretty big gap to me – what went wrong? I guess that’s my biggest unresolved question out of this whole thing: what went wrong? I don’t know that we’ll ever know the answer to that question. What I do know though is that even in writing this, I can already feel some of that frustration dissipating…
So to conclude, I would like to say “thank you” to all of my friends and co-workers who stood with me on election day. Thank you to all of you who supported the concept of a fair Wisconsin. Thank you to those who sent me emails, or stopped me in the hall, or gave money/time because you knew it was something _I_ cared about. Those things shall never be forgotten.
Regardless of the outcome on November 7, 2006, I still believe in a fair Wisconsin – and someday, I know we’ll get to a point in time where a fair Wisconsin stands up and says NO to this kind of mean-spirited thing. We didn’t a week ago, but we will.
We have to.
With a lot of love and appreciation,
I figure folks could use a end-of-week smile! Check out the 60-second clip from Ellen where Brad Pitt speaks out against Prop 8 back in 2008.
I don’t think it has any place in our definition of America.
Couldn’t agree with you more, Brad. These propositions and amendments have no place in our constitution. Thanks to all of the folks that lend their voices to this fight. Keep telling your story and speaking out. That’s how we will defeat these mean-spirited measures.
One of several “Vote NO on Amendment One” commercials that will air over the next two weeks before North Carolinans head to the polls. The ballot reads:
Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized by this State.
These words have far-reaching consequences that many people don’t realize. In states that have passed similarly worded amendments, both gay and straight people are impacted. While the commercial doesn’t do a great job explaining how or why (and I fear will leave many people scratching their heads), it does highlight yet another dangerous repercussion Amendment One would have if it passes.
There are many reasons to Vote NO on May 8. This commercial highlights yet another reason.
I just came across a great blog post that gives me a lot of hope. In Washington State, Catholic pastors have been given the option to “opt out” of collecting signatures in an effort to repeal same-sex marriage. In fact, Reverend Tim Clark received a standing ovation from his parish when he announced that they would not be gathering signatures. The parish is the sixth in Seattle to opt out of the petition drive.
The standing ovation experienced during one of the Masses says less about me and much more about the health of this parish. I only wished the archbishop [J. Peter Sartain] could have experienced the sustained applause — the ‘sensus fidelium’ — of the people. He needs to listen to this ‘voice.’ That is my prayer.
We need more leaders like Reverend Clark. Thank you for standing up for what you believe to be right.
Unfortunately, in Minnesota, folks like archbishop John Nienstedt have given parishes no option to opt out of supporting the mean-spirited Minnesota marriage amendment. In fact, back in January I blogged about how the archbishop issued a very clear message: If you disagree with the amendment or the church’s support, you had best keep it to yourself.
Kudos to Reverend Tim Clark, his congregation and all of those in Washington State that support equality for all.
This amendment hurts rather than heals. It erodes the rights of individuals and if we begin to write laws that (are) discriminatory it opens the door for other laws to discriminate against whoever the majority may deem to be unworthy of rights.
Rev. Clarence Laney (Monument of Faith)
Reblogged from my friends fighting in North Carolina to defeat Amendment One on May 8, 2012.
Interesting article that sheds light on a couple of states where the Catholic Church seems to be reversing their hard stand against gay marriage:
- Roman Catholic Church of New Hampshire endorsed civil unions bill on March 19, just two days prior to the state legislature’s vote
- Roman Catholic Church of Maine ceased all external opposition to this year’s marriage equality ballot campaign
Oh, but don’t you worry! That’s not the full story. If you wander over to CatholicNH.org, you’ll see the broader story:
The Diocese of Manchester consistently has opposed legislation that would establish civil unions. However, the [civil unions bill] falls into a category of legislation which the US Bishops have previously considered: bills in civil law which may not reflect the fullness of the Church’s teaching, but which nonetheless provide an “incremental improvement” in the current law and a “step toward full restoration of justice.”
So, essentially what the Catholic Church of New Hampshire is saying is this:
Providing a committed and loving gay couple a Civil Union is far better than allowing them to get married. And while it’s only an “incremental improvement” we’ll keep fighting until those gay people have no rights, just like it was before. That’s what it means to have a “full restoration of justice!”
Yeah, no dice.
I’ve said this before and I’ll reiterate now: I don’t mean to speak out against any one group on this blog, but the Catholic Church continues to come out against marriage equality time and time again and it almost feels like now they’re just being mean. With that said, I was raised Catholic and have many Catholic friends that love me and don’t hold these same views. That’s why I will not lump all Catholics (or any religion, for that matter) together in one bucket. But it is important that we all know how these religious organizations are attempting to influence the governing body of the land.
And remember, it’s liberty and justice for all.
I’ve been following some blogs from North Carolina as they fight the marriage amendment battle. In May, Amendment One will appear on North Carolinian’s ballots. Of course, NC state law already prohibits same-sex marriage, a constitutional amendment would just be an additional measure, I guess.
Anyway, even on the way to that constitutional amendment, it’s sad to see County Commissioners in parts of NC trying to pass resolutions to support the Defense of Marriage Act (US Federal Law defining marriage as one man and one woman).
Guess some folks in North Carolina just want to be super-duper sure that same-sex couples are very clear where their state stands on the matter of love. Sad.
To my friends in North Carolina: May hope carry you through.