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!
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.
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!!
If you haven’t seen the latest commercial from Minnesotans United for All Families, take 30 seconds to watch now.
The video was posted to YouTube on October 26, 2012 with the following information:
Minnesotans United for All Families 5th television ad features Republican Representative John Kriesel’s floor speech from the Minnesota House of Representatives in May 2011. Regarding Cpl Andrew Wilfahrt, Representative Kriesel said: “He 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.”
The Wilfahrt’s have made it their mission to celebrate their son’s life through telling his story. You can read more about their story in previous blog postings on this site.
I have the fortune of working with many great people. One of those individuals recently shared with me a blog post his wife penned after their family completed the Big Gay Race.
It’s a creatively well-written piece that explains why the Breen family stood for equality one sunny September morning:
We stand for what’s right, because it’s the only thing to do. Because if not us, then who. And because not standing up, is the same as pushing down.
Enjoy the story, pictures and writing shared by Galit via her blog.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve started this blog journey. In that time, I’ve seen so much good in people. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen a lack of understanding from many amendment supporters. In today’s guest post, one of my closest friends shares her thoughts on that one simple word, understanding.
1. mental process of a person who comprehends; comprehension; personal interpretation: My understanding of the word does not agree with yours.
2. intellectual faculties; intelligence; mind: a quick understanding.
3. superior power of discernment; enlightened intelligence: With her keen understanding she should have become a leader.
4. knowledge of or familiarity with a particular thing; skill in dealing with or handling something: an understanding of accounting practice.
5. a state of cooperative or mutually tolerant relations between people: To him, understanding and goodwill were the supreme virtues.
I don’t know when I first heard the term “gay,” but if you look up the term in Webster’s, it’s actually not such a bad word. However, whenever I heard the term as a child and young adult, I pictured someone that I’d have nothing in common with. Running into a gay person was right up there on my list of things to avoid along with running into an axe murderer. Flash forward a few years… Who would have thought one of my closest and best friends would be gay? Or how much we’d have in common?
Before coming to Minneapolis to work, I had only ever known one gay person. I’ve been here for over 12 years and now I know more than I can name. And do you know what? They are normal people!! They come in all shapes and sizes (although most of the guys I know wear smaller jeans than me :)). They are human beings and they have as much in common with you and I as they have differences.
I’m not here to change your mind about what you think is right or wrong. I’m here to challenge you to listen, learn and truly understand before jumping to conclusions. Do you know someone who is gay? Have you heard their story? Better yet, ask them if they’d rather be straight if given the choice. I can guarantee you most would rather not be on this road.
I know one thing for certain. I am a better person because I know Mark. He has a big heart, incredible work ethic, he pushes me to take risks and he finds ways to build my confidence. The best thing about him? He accepts me just the way I am, so it’s the least I can do to accept him for who he is and understand the courage it took to not be ashamed.
I consider myself very blessed to be surrounded by a group of friends that respect and understand me. We may not always agree on all things, but when it comes to something as core as equality, they’ve stood by me through all of this.
To Dee Dee, thank you for the courage to write this post. For everyone out there that wonders whether something as simple as telling your story and letting people know the real you can make a difference, tuck this one away as a reminder.
And to Dee Dee, thank you for your friendship and advocacy. They mean the world to me.
In an opinion piece posted in the Morrison County Record, The Editorial Board of ECM Publishers Inc. voices their opposition of the mean-spirited marriage amendment. With the headline, “Vote ‘No’ on ill-considered marriage amendment,” below is just a small excerpt of what they had to say:
Passing the amendment would place limits in our constitution on the freedom of same-sex citizens. It would erect a barrier to continuing the discussion of same-sex marriage, for today’s voters and for future generations of Minnesotans who may want to reopen the debate.
Voters would, in fact, be making choices for those future generations. Voters would be telling many of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that marriage won’t be an option for them.
That’s not freedom, that’s oppression, and we are concerned what message that sends the world about our state. What kind of Minnesota do we want to present to the world?
The letter speaks to the fact that we shouldn’t make rash decisions that have long-lasting impacts on everything from families to attracting top talent to Minnesota. It also speaks about love:
We think it’s important that people love whom they wish to love, and have an opportunity to marry whom they wish to marry. It’s a simple case of treating people with the same kind of respect with which you would want to be treated.
The letter concludes with the fact that marriage is already defined as one man, one woman in the state of Minnesota. Defeating this amendment doesn’t change that fact.
If you have a minute, check out the letter in its entirety. It’s a really good read.
Gay people are not treated as American citizens. The amount of individuals who came up and thanked me and Brendon for taking a stand was staggering, and frankly depressing. I use the word depressing because for that many people to thank us for showing basic empathy, to thank us for recognizing that they are human beings just like everyone else, means that so many other people have not. What that says about our society makes me ill just to think about, and it means that we are failing the American dream. America is the land where people go to escape oppression, to escape persecution, to escape tyranny; sure we haven’t always gotten it right throughout the years but we should always strive for that elusive goal of equality. Right now we’re just not getting it done.
Chris Kluwe, Punter, Minnesota Vikings
Source: Out of Bounds blog
So I’ve got to admit: If you would have asked me who Chris Kluwe was a year ago, I would have said that I had no idea. But now, suddenly, he’s everywhere standing up for my equality and I can’t get enough of him.
Today, I learned that he pens a blog for the Pioneer Press titled, Out of Bounds. In his most recent post, he had the above to say about a Vote NO event he recently attended (along with a lot more good stuff).
I don’t know where this guy comes from, but WOW, can he write. I’m so thankful to have his voice in this campaign.
Yesterday, Minnesotans United for All Families posted a new 2-minute video in which Jesse Ventura talks about the marriage amendment. You hear Jesse’s iconic voice immediately as he opens the clip with the following:
Government should not be telling people who to fall in love with… We’re supposed to be home of the brave, land of the free.
An aged Jesse tells the story of Terry and his 37 years of marriage and happiness.
The happiness we’ve had, I would wish for everybody to have.
Terry explains that marriage is about falling in love and making a commitment to friends and family. Jesse then emphasizes that this issue impacts ALL Minnesotans:
This is not a democrat issue, this is not a republican issue, this is not a liberal issue, it’s not a conservative issue, which means it affects each and every one of us, regardless of whatever our political persuasion is.
My favorite line from Jesse:
The Constitution should not be used to oppress people. The Constitution is used to protect people. Love is by far bigger than government can ever be.
In the final part of the commercial, Jesse makes a battle call to all Minnesotans. He shares that we’ll make our own decisions and that we know good values in Minnesota.
We should defeat this and vote no to show the rest of the United States that nobody influences Minnesotans on what’s right or wrong.
If you’ve read my backstory, you’ll know that I didn’t live in Minnesota when Jesse was at the helm. And even though he’s moved on from his leadership position, it’s great to see him taking such a visible stance on still doing what’s right for Minnesota.
In May, I blogged about a new feature Minnesotans United rolled out where users could create their own fundraising page. After seeing the first television commercial air, I’ve taken the plunge and created my own fundraising page to help ensure we can continue to get the word out about why it’s so important to vote NO.
Please take 2 minutes to help me reach my goal and make a donation to Minnesotans United. Every single dollar makes a difference and your support means so much to me (regardless of what amount you can help with).
Thank you for standing up for my equality.
Mark’s Personal Fundraising Page
Image Source: Oreo Facebook Page
Kraft Foods, the maker of Oreo cookies, proudly displays their support of Pride with this fun rainbow Oreo posted on their Facebook page. The image is beautifully simple with only the words: June 25 | Pride.
Since posting the image on Monday, June 25, nearly 250,000 people have “liked” the photo and nearly 80,000 people have shared the image. As of this evening, there are over 45,000 comments on the image, many that simply express thanks.
The disclaimer below the image lets everyone know that this Pride Oreo isn’t actually available for purchase. Bummer, everyone knows that the cream filling is the best part of an Oreo! ; ) All kidding aside, the Pride Oreo is just another example of a company standing up to support LGBT equality.
Note: Oreo is a trademark of Kraft foods. Author does not own rights to image; shared from the Oreo Facebook Page.
Well, it’s official. The dumpgeneralmills domain came to life today asking folks to sign a petition against General Mills. The goal of the site is to tell the company that standing on the side of equality will result in lost business.
I’m sad to report that the site has almost 7,000 signatures. If you’ve not already sent a note to General Mills to say “thank you for opposing the mean-spirited amendment and standing on the correct side of history,” I’ve made it really easy. Just click here. Let’s make sure that the amendment supporters aren’t the only ones that General Mills hears from!
Every day, I’m surprised at new resources I find on the Minnesotans United for all Families web site. Today, I discovered a PDF document that provides 13 tips on how to have a conversation about marriage with friends, family and coworkers. It’s even split up into helpful sections (before starting, what to do, after the conversation) and includes some example starters.
Even if you’ve already been having conversations, some of the tips provided here can still be quite beneficial (Tip 5: Make sure you check in with yourself before speaking). Also, if you have friends who may not yet be comfortable speaking about this topic, consider printing this tip sheet and sharing it with them. Even though it can be uncomfortable, we need everyone out there talking.
And remember, as Tip 11, thank them for the conversation, regardless of the outcome. The goal is to start the dialogue, and by having the conversation, you are doing just that.
PS- I would personally add one more tip to this sheet.
Tip 14: Ask them to take action. If you find that the person is supportive and you have a good conversation, ask them to take action. You could ask them to vote NO in NOvember or even to have the conversation with their own friends. It’s ok not to ask the person to take action immediately. You can do this in a follow-up conversation as well.
“Remember that conversation we had last week back about Brad and LouAnne and marriage? Well, that whole conversation is going to come up again and again over the next couple months because our state is going to vote on this very topic in NOvember. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the conversation and how important it will be for us to vote NO. Like you said, why does it matter who another person loves…”
Truly inspiring to see all of the volunteers out this weekend getting the message out about Voting NO in NOvember! While we’ve got quite the fight still in front of us, this amendment has brought many in the community (including our allies) together for a common cause. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans standing together in a united front saying that we don’t want your discrimination here.
Cool video clip of many of the volunteers marching in the Twin Cities Pride Parade this morning in Minneapolis.
I’ve posted several articles about what polls are saying and what it may mean for the election this fall. A poll out in early June showed “growing opposition” to the constitutional amendment.
The poll results, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), showed 49 percent of Minnesota voters oppose the amendment, while 43 percent support it. While this is good news, I do have some question around how accurate these results may be (just four months ago in the same poll, 44 percent were against the amendment, while 48 percent were in support – that’s almost a swap in a very short time).
Polls oftentimes are misleading going into a vote on this topic. Prop 8 in California was supposed to “lose decisively” yet voters passed it with a 52-48 margin. Hence, while I’m encouraged by this news (as we all should be), it is much too soon to celebrate. Let’s put some additional spread between those numbers in the next poll by having the conversation, talking to friends and co-workers and helping family members understand that this is a civil rights issue about equality.
Come on Minnesota, I know you’re up for it!