Sharing with you a personal note that I posted on Facebook this early morning. May you be blessed with the same love and support that I’m fortunate to receive every single day.
Friends and family,
Today, Minnesota has the chance to make history. We have an opportunity to say NO to amending our state constitution in a way that would limit the rights of committed same-sex couples. Whether you realize it or not, in a way, you are voting on me. In less than 24 hours, Minnesota will have had the chance to say whether or not I should permanently be prohibited from marrying the man that I love (who I hope to meet one day!).
While I don’t often talk about how this discussion impacts ME personally, I want you to know that the fact that we even have to have this conversation hurts me deeply. To know that there are Minnesotans who believe that if I have the right to marry someone I love, people will someday want to marry sheep… Words cannot express how deeply that hurts. Tonight on Nicollet Mall, I was told that I will burn in Hell for eternity for my “sin of homosexuality.” In a moment, I was reminded that I may forever be deemed less than in the state of Minnesota if this amendment passes.
We have the ability to defeat this thing; it’s well within reach. But no matter the outcome, I know that you will be there with open arms to support me. And for that, I consider myself tremendously blessed.
Minnesotans, it’s my last ask. Please, Vote No on the mean-spirited marriage amendment. When you do, smile, and think of all of the people just like me that are relying on your strength and support at that very moment.
With love (and hope),
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.
Recently, I saw a couple friends on Facebook post that they were “blocked” from the Minnesota for Marriage Facebook page. Curious, I decided to take a look at the page to see what all the talk was about. What I found breaks my heart.
Below, I’ve posted just a handful of the hundreds of posts from the Minnesota for Marriage page.
Warning: If you are easily offended, you may wish to stop reading at this point.
The first post I captured was created by Laura Catherine Cummings. Cummings was responding to a poster that refuted claims made by Minnesota for Marriage in their recent television ad. Cummings shares that if people vote no, “the Government will force us to teach and accept that masturbation/sodomy between gays is equal to if not better than the procreative conjugal union between a married man and woman.”
I’m not sure what’s more disheartening, the fact that she believes this, or the fact that 8 others have already liked her comment. Cummings’ concerns are easily refuted by looking at any other state – or nation – that has legalized gay marriage (eg, Iowa). Nothing has changed. Not only that, but Minnesota isn’t even voting to legalize gay marriage! Marriage is already defined as one man, one woman in the state of Minnesota. This amendment would just make it super-duper clear to committed gay and lesbian couples that they have no hope of celebrating their love in Minnesota.
The second post is from Alex Mezeritski. Unfortunately, we can’t be fully certain what he is trying to say as his statement is fairly incoherent. It seems that he has concerns with a same-sex couple adopting children with his use of quotes around the word “family.”
I’d encourage Mr. Mezeritski to watch this wonderful video featuring Zach Wahls if he has any doubt that a non-traditional family can successfully raise children. As for Mezeritski’s claims about school curriculums changing, multiple organizations have already refuted these claims as being false. A NO vote on this mean-spirited amendment has zero impact on school curriculum as same-sex marriage would still not be legal in Minnesota. And even in those states where it is legal (Iowa), nothing has changed.
The third post is from Jill Cyr. I can’t even tell you how sickening this makes me:
I’ve posted about these absurd claims before. In my Note to Jessie, I share the definition of marriage: A binding and legal contract. It doesn’t take someone with a doctoral degree to realize that a sheep will never be able to enter into a binding and legal contract. As for kids, family members, toasters or any other comparison people like Cyr make, it’s all about creating a distraction. Defeating this amendment doesn’t change the definition of marriage, nor does it somehow make it legal to marry your kitchen appliances. It simply keeps discrimination out of the Minnesota state constitution. That’s it. Marriage will still be defined as one man, one woman. But the other side knows they can’t win their fight just standing on that alone; they introduce these sick comparisons and make these ignorant statements.
The last post I’ll share is from Melissa Henke. Henke sums up her feelings simply:
You see, for many amendment supporters, love doesn’t matter. In Henke’s case, she doesn’t want to have to be “exposed” to a loving and committed relationship if both individuals are of the same sex. Well, here’s the thing: Even if this amendment passes, gay and lesbian couples don’t disappear. They will still be here in Minnesota. They will still fall in love. They will still raise families. And Henke’s children will be “exposed” to gay and lesbian peers, teachers, cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors… Well, you get the idea. Defeating this amendment doesn’t introduce children to gay people any more than happens today. However, if this amendment were to pass, people like Henke and her children, would now have a group of classmates to tease and bully because voters in the state of Minnesota will have said: “Your kind is less than and you don’t deserve the same rights.”
As I mentioned, these are just a couple of posts from the Minnesota for Marriage page. If you’re still wondering who is voting for this mean-spirited amendment, now you know. And there are hundreds of posts and thousands of “likes” on the Minnesota for Marriage page that prove these folks aren’t just outliers. These are real Minnesotans who believe that I deserve to be treated differently because who I fall in love with.
And that’s why I’m telling my story.
This week, Minnesotans United shared a new “Vote No” graphic and encouraged all Minnesotans standing for equality to update their Profile picture.
This image adds to the collection of nearly 20 different Vote No images I posted this weekend that are profile-ready.
It’s hard to believe, we’re saying goodbye to Halloween 2012. I couldn’t let the day go by without at least a couple of Vote No nods!
First, a message that warmed my heart this chilly Halloween night that was posted on the Minnesotans United Facebook page:
Our first trick or treater was a little Where’s Waldo. Maybe 4 or 5 years old. Get his candy, starts to walk away, turns around and marches up to me, “The best part about your house is your sign. Thanks for Voting No.” His two moms smile at me.
And THAT would be why I AM Voting No.
And then what would Halloween be without a couple of carved pumpkins? Trust me, take their advice in 6 days and Vote No!
Image source: Caramelized OpiNIONS
I go out too much. I have an amazing family, Bowser makes me laugh every day. I get worried when I don’t have everything planned out. I love to “dance” (jump up and down) to Britney Spears, Kesha, and Rihanna. I am afraid of seeming boring or not interesting. I love Disney movies, especially the little mermaid, which I know is very gay. I am inspired by my friend Claire. I enjoy running. but I hate wearing contact lenses. I’m a human being. If you can see this, I am your friend, and I will be voting no on an amendment that wants to restrict my rights. I want to eventually marry the man that I will fall in love with. Please vote no if you live in Minnesota. This is very important to me.
Facebook Friend, October 29, 2012
Earlier this month, I shared another powerful status update from one of my friends on Facebook. Today, I came across this one from my friend Greg and I had to share.
For those that may still be on the fence about this mean-spirited amendment, please take some time and reflect on the fact that real Minnesotans will be harmed if this passes. There’s no maybe about it. Lives will be impacted and a minority of Minnesotans will be told “you are less than.”
Please stand with me and countless others and say NO on election day.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve shared a bunch of Facebook cover graphics for you to display on your profile. This one is simple and contrasts quite nicely with your profile picture.
And if you really want to deck out your profile, be sure to check out yesterday’s post where I shared nearly 20 different images that you can use for your Facebook profile image!
You’ve donated money, you’ve volunteered your time and you’ve talked to your friends and family. Now, with days to go until the election, take a minute to update your Facebook profile image with one of the graphics below.
Share a link to this page on your profile and ask friends and family to update their Facebook page on or before November 1 to show their opposition to this mean-spirited marriage amendment. In the final week, let’s rally and make sure Facebook knows that Minnesota WILL vote no on November 6th!
If you have an additional image you’d like to share, please email it to me and I’ll add it to this page!
Note: The graphics found on this page and website have been accessed from public sources; this site makes no claim of ownership to any of the above images.
Here’s another graphic for those that are looking to replace your Facebook profile picture in the last two weeks before the election.
Let your friends kNOw that this mean-spirited amendment impacts you, your family and/or your loved ones.
With so little time left, please take action now!
This weekend, Minneapolis residents had the ability to get their car “wrapped” with Vote No stickers (we’re talking door-sized stickers!). A public event was launched on Facebook with a goal to wrap over 100 cars in Minnesota – a mission that was accomplished according to site creators.
Many people that had their cars wrapped with the Vote No message have posted pictures on the above Facebook page. Kare11 even picked up the story over the weekend:
Move over little bumper stickers.
Outside the Eagle Bolt Bar in downtown Minneapolis, cars were lined up Saturday as Richard Herod III and his friends wrapped them, on all three sides, with decals that said “Vote No” against the marriage amendment.
The Kare11 story also featured some creative tactics amendment supporters are using to get out their message. As we’ve seen numerous times in Minnesota, amendment supporters are once again using kids to get their message out. The vote yes side is holding a pumpkin carving contest where kids are encouraged to create pumpkins that showcase the mean-spirited amendment.
Hmmm, adults volunteering to wrap their own cars or using school-aged children to drive a message of inequality… I’m so proud of the Vote No side. Since the beginning, the focus of the Vote No campaign has been to focus on conversations and positive interactions (the same is true with this blog).
History will remember the Vote No side for the way they’ve conducted themselves.
I just discovered the brand-new Facebook app from Minnesotans United for All Families that allows you to tell your friends why you’re voting NO. It’s a neat app that allows you to select from about a dozen different reasons on why voting NO is important to you. Once you select the reason, you can share that reason with friends and even download a new profile graphic for your Facebook account.
Feel free to swipe the above image for your own profile picture or go to the App to create your own!
Few things have the power to provoke feelings of being alone, unwanted, unloved in my life… until I came across ‘VOTE NO’ signs for MN’s marriage amendment kicked to the ground, dismantled and scattered along the sidewalk in my ‘heart of uptown’ neighborhood this morning. My community has always been one of tolerance, acceptance and love, but this heartless act jolted my mind into a moment of truth. Simply stated: ‘there is still plenty of work to be done’. I must continue sharing my story, thank family and friends for their outward support and believe that love and acceptance will prevail over intolerance, bigotry and prejudice.
Facebook friend, October 14, 2012
A powerful reminder that we still have much work to do. Even in the Twin Cities, where there are a sea of vote NO signs, there is still ignorance and misunderstanding.
Let these words ring true for you as well:
I must continue sharing my story, thank family and friends for their outward support and believe that love and acceptance will prevail over intolerance, bigotry and prejudice.
Together, we can educate and influence change. It starts with you and me.
According to a new Facebook page that was created yesterday, several “Ely Healthcare Professionals” ran the following ad speaking out against the mean-spirited marriage amendment:
An open letter to Gay and Lesbian members of our community:
As health care professionals in the Ely community we wish to express our support for you during this election season.
We recognize that the proposed amendment to the Minnesota state constitution which would deny marriage equality to same gender couples is harmful to you and your families.
We support equal human rights for all people regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.
The following medical and mental health associations have declared their opposition to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment:
Minnesota Psychological Association
American Psychology Association
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Medical Association
Minnesota Nurses Association
Minnesota Society for Clinical Social Work
MN Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Nursing
Mental Health Association of Minnesota
National Association of Social Workers
The family is the principal caregiver and the center of strength and support for all children.
Specifically, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics notes the following:
- LGBT adolescents and their families need to know they are supported by their pediatricians and their communities.
- Marriage amendments may lead to an increase in bullying and violence against LGBT youth and greater intolerance for them and their families.
- Nationally, nearly one-quarter of all same-sex couples are raising children and eight percent of them are raising children with special health care needs. There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research has documented that there is no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and any measure of a child’s emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment.
Peggy York-Jesme, C.F.N.P.
Mary Bianco, M.D.
Cindy Anderson Bina, M.S., L.A.D.C.
Christine Braun, M.S.Ed
Joseph Bianco, M.D
Brielle Loe, M.D.
Joseph Schwinghamer, M.D.
Jim Montana, M.D.
Julie Houle, M.D.
Jeff Wilt, M.D.
Jeanann Tjader, C.F.N.P.
John Knott, M.D.
The Facebook page was created to bring awareness to the alleged fact that the owner of the Ely Shopper has no interest in supporting the LGBT community. The creator of the page quotes owner Dea Whitten as saying:
We never dreamt that gays would marry when I was a kid… If you want to put your gay wedding announcement in the Ely Shopper, bring it somewhere else.
Since day one starting this blog, I’ve focused on promoting appreciation for those businesses that support the LGBTA community. Sharing this story is not a rallying cry to boycott any business; instead, my hope is to raise awareness and help encourage conversations in Ely and across the state. Clearly, in reading the letter from the healthcare professionals above, we know that there are many folks in Ely that support equality and will be voting NO in just over 20 days!
Note: I am not affiliated with, nor do I know personally the creator of the referenced Facebook page.
In case you missed it, check out one Mom’s letter in response to discovering her preschool sent a “vote yes” letter home with her 4-year old son. Jenny Spohn shared her letter last month via Facebook and it’s worth the read.
Thank you Ms. Spohn for standing up for equality. And thank you for so eloquently letting those who are working hard to pass this mean-spirited amendment know that we will not stand for their intolerance.
My 4 year-old son came home from preschool with a ‘Vote Yes’ letter in his backpack. This was my response to this horrifying letter.
Dear Pastor David Paul Lenz,
I am writing this letter to you to inform you why I will be removing my child, Cooper, from your church’s preschool. I was shocked and appalled that you used my 4-year old’s backpack to send a message home defending the Minnesota Marriage amendment, and I cannot justify financially contributing to a community that is going to use that money against people I love and people my son loves. You see, Pastor David, my 4-year old is loved and cherished by his two lesbian aunts that have known him and supported him since his birth. My sister and her partner have been in a committed relationship for over 12 years, and Cooper will have the wonderful opportunity to support them at their wedding next October.
I am aware that you are well within your rights to promote this teaching about marriage, just like the vast majority of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues in Minnesota are well within their rights to promote inclusivity, embrace God’s diverse creation, and support loving and committed couples by working to defeat this marriage amendment. But you need to know that no matter how many letters you write you will never be able to convince my son that his aunts and their future children are not a real family, for his experience contradicts everything that you wrote in your letter.
Your letter was offensive to an entire group of people that are not seeking to change marriage, they are seeking to join marriage—the lifelong commitment that strengthens all societies. Not only was your letter offensive, but it severely lacked any coherent argument. Claiming to not tell people how to vote and then claiming to simply present God’s view on the matter is lazy rhetoric that does not persuade thinking people. Your selective inattention to the biblical text was frightening. If we are going to talk about the biblical view(s) of marriage, then at least be honest and address polygamy, Levirate marriage, Deuteronomic law of the captive bride, bride prices, dowries, etc. Certainly using a passage about outlawing divorce (Matt 19) and claiming that it is evidence that God does not support same-sex marriage is disingenuous at best and insulting at worst. Did you really think that no one would look it up? But even more than all of this, using the backpacks of 4-year olds to spread your personal, unsophisticated, and selective interpretation of the Bible, in a vain attempt to amend the constitution to exclude human beings who are created in the image of God, is totally and completely inappropriate.
I encourage to you revisit the overwhelming message of acceptance and love found in the vast majority of the Old Testament and the New Testament—passages that champion inclusiveness (Acts 10; Gen 1:26) not exclusiveness. You are not alone; pastors and priests throughout history have used the Bible to justify all sorts of things that we now find appalling like the subordination of women, slavery, and segregation. Simply claiming to be on God’s side does not mean that you are. Blaise Pascal reminds us that “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” I would ask that you pray about Christ’s message of loving God and loving one’s neighbor and ask yourself how you are loving your LGBT neighbors and their families.
Whether you realize it or not, your words patronize an ongoing struggle for equal rights—a struggle that will not only eventually be won, but one that will soon be understood and remembered as an extension of other successful “against the current” movements, such as the fight for women’s suffrage and the civil rights movement. I am not expecting to change your mind with this letter, and as I have said earlier, you are well within your right as a religious institution to spread and teach your faith. Although I find your message offensive, appalling, and ultimately non-Christian, I believe in your constitutional right to express it. I am voting NO on this amendment in November because I don’t only support your freedom, I support my sister’s freedom too.
P.S. I will also be sending this letter to the parents in Cooper’s class so that they know why Cooper will no longer be attending Hope pre-school.
A couple weeks back, I posted about The kNOw Tool. It’s a Facebook app from Minnesotans United for All Families that allows you to match your friends to the state’s voter file. From here, you’re able to indicate whether or not the individual supports marriage equality. If you don’t know, you can specify that too. Based on what you select, the app creates a list of individuals for you to have a conversation with. Think of it as your own phone bank – right in your own home!
Today, HRC announced a similar app called Call4Equality. After watching the quick tutorial video, it appears that the main difference is that this app allows you to target your friends by state. Specifically, you select one of the four states that will be voting on marriage equality in November, and the tool identifies your friends within those states. The process repeats much like the above.
Another tool that leverages technology to make having the conversation even easier. We know that personal conversations make all of the difference when it comes to defeating the marriage amendment – thankfully, groups like Minnesotans United and The HRC are making it easier than ever to reach out to voters across the state!
- New years update
- Minnesota for Marriage concedes defeat
- Amendment supporters’ streak broken
- A message for Fr. Mike Tegeder
- United for Our Future Rally news coverage
- Victory in all four!
- Blog Milestone: November 8, 2012
- Goodnight, Minnesota
- Vote No Yard Sign
- Minnesota marriage amendment results
- Minnesota Voted NO. Thank you!
- Rybak Tweets Love
- 2:30am update: Vote No declared winner
- 12:04am Update
- Midnight update
- Couple of live tweets
- Polls are now closed
- WCCO readies marriage amendment graphics
- My own little election party
- Minnesota unions urge a NO vote
- Check out what a visitor to the site asked me to pass along to Father Mike Tegeder. RT if you agree. #minnesota #voteno
- #Minnesota nice? Yeah, we #voteno twice! Congratulations to to Minnesota for standing on the right side of history!11/07/2012
- #Minnesota #marriageamendment 78% reporting. #voteno at 50%; yes side has 49%. It's going to be a while before we call this one...11/07/2012
- #Minnesota #marriageamendment 47% reporting. Spread narrows. #voteno side still at 49%; yes side has increased their support to 47%.11/07/2012
- Check out what a visitor to the site asked me to pass along to Father Mike Tegeder. RT if you agree. #minnesota #voteno