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…
Our opponents have the cultural elite, wealthy contributors, and editorial writers, but we have voters on our side. We are particularly pleased with the lead the amendment enjoys among Independent voters and the large percentage of Democratic voters who support the amendment.
John Helmberger, Chairman, Minnesota for Marriage
Source: The New American
Helmberger’s response to a new poll conducted jointly by SurveyUSA and KSTP that found a 15 point spread between those who support the mean-spirited marriage amendment and those who oppose it. Read more about the poll in my blog post from yesterday.
Ok, so I’ve eaten at this place once or twice while traveling, and I’ve seen their cute cow advertisements, but WOW. I have never heard as much about thecompany as I have this past week! After Chick-fil-a president Dan Cathy came out defending his company’s views about “traditional marriage” a whole lot of people started talking.
You’ve got the Jim Henson company pulling their toys from the store. You’ve got political leaders in Boston and Chicago both making proclamations that they don’t want Chick-fil-a in their towns. You’ve got universities petitioning to remove the company from their campuses as it could create a hostile environment for GLBT youth and their allies. The list goes on.
The reality is, Dan Cathy has every right to hold his views. At the same time, consumers have every right to share their views as well.
I made a commitment a while ago that I’m not going to turn this blog into a place where I rally people to boycott this company or that. However, I do believe this will be an important part of the LGBT and marriage equality movements as we look back in time, and so I’m sharing it with you. Eat and Chick-fil-a, or don’t; my only ask is that my friends, family – and followers – continue to educate themselves on their decisions.
Here’s a great little YouTube video from Jackson Pearce on “Hate, Love and Chicken.” It’s making the rounds on Facebook and it’s totally worth the watch.
The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.
The Jim Henson Company Facebook Page
Source: New Civil Rights Movement
There’s been a lot of social media attention on Chick-Fil-A of late. I’ve not posted about the company’s donations and anti-gay beliefs as the chain isn’t big in Minnesota. However, the fact that yet another company is standing up for equality (and “dumping” Chik-Fil-A) should be a sign for businesses in Minnesota that it’s time to speak out against this mean-spirited amendment.
While it falls just short of marriage, the Episcopal church has voted to approve “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” for committed same-sex couples. The ceremony includes prayers and the exchange of vows and rings for the couple.
USA Today provides some additional background on the Episcopal church and their long-time support of gay rights. In 2003, Gene Robinson was elected as the first openly gay bishop for the church in the world. This decision caused disagreements by some in the church and caused a split between congregations.
To address concerns from those members who may not yet be supportive of same-sex couples, the resolution includes a “conscience clause”:
Under the new policy, each Episcopal bishop will decide whether to allow the ceremonies in his or her local diocese. A provision dubbed a conscience clause bars any penalties for Episcopalians who oppose its use.
Regardless of your beliefs, this is a step in the right direction. With many religious groups still persecuting same-sex couples, it’s great to see the Episcopal church recognizing the fact that love is love and celebrating that fact across the church.
People are getting comfortable with [gay marriage in Iowa] and that’s a shame to tell you the truth.
Susan Geddes, Iowa Republican
Source: ABC News
Geddes worked as an organizer for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign. Her statement is proof that the fight we’re having in Minnesota is unnecessary and based out of fear and/or hate. By allowing same-sex couples to marry in Iowa, “traditional” marriages have not stopped. In fact, over 4,500 same-sex couples have wed since 2009 when gay marriage became legal in the state and now nearly 60 percent of Iowans oppose an amendment that would ban gay marriage.
Why? Because recognizing the love of a committed same-sex couple is a wonderful thing that really doesn’t have any impact on other people. In fact, according to Geddes, folks even get comfortable with the idea. At the end of the day, love has won out in Iowa and support to take that love and recognition away continues to decline – and it upsets folks like Geddes who would prefer the rights of same-sex couples were limited.
Gap Inc. officially jumped on the bandwagon opposing the Defense of Marriage Act (according to a Gap employee memo).
Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Wilma Wallace had this to say about DOMA:
DOMA creates a distinction between our lawfully married employees that is inconsistent with our core values – inclusion and diversity. Although we are not a part of the court case… we are signing on to a supporitng court brief challenging the law because removing barriers to equitable treatment is important to us.
Gap signs onto to existing challenges of DOMA, not as a representative involved in the court case, but as a company that could be impacted by the ruling. Companies have the ability to do this to show that there is broader impact than just to the parties involved in the case.
Yesterday, another Minnesota company came out against the Minnesota marriage amendment. Thomson Reuters, the “leading source of intelligent information for business and professionals,” shared that this amendment would impact their business. Spokesman John Shaughnessy said:
We believe the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent
And it’s true. With Thomson Reuters headquartered in New York, where gay marriage is legal, why would talent for the company choose to move to a state that passes an amendment to the constitution to limit the rights and freedoms of residents? It makes clear sense why the company would stand up and say NO to this freedom-limiting, mean-spirited amendment.
Kudos to another company – with strong Minnesota ties – for standing up for what is right and encouraging voters to just say NO.
On Sunday, I posted a radio commercial recorded by Minnesota Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe where he encourages Minnesotans to vote NO on what he refers to as the “marriage discrimination amendment” this NOvember.
Here’s another radio spot Kluwe recorded. In this spot, he is much more direct about the harm this amendment would do if passed. He shares that it is a:
…meaningless and wreckless restriction of individual freedom and basic human rights. This amendment is an extreme change to our constitution making it impossible to change for decades to come.
He goes on to say that the amendment is both anti-american and anti-freedom. He makes a simple ask to all listeners:
Please don’t limit the freedom to marry for anyone
Kudos to Kluwe for speaking out. I’d love to see more folks in the spotlight speak out against this mean-spirited amendment. It feels like we continue to make progress every day!
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.
In June, the Good Samaritan United Methodist Church welcomed Catholics from across the state for a kickoff event for Catholics that oppose the marriage amendment. Several hundred people gathered to understand what they could do to help defeat this mean-spirited amendment.
Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, had this to say at the event:
A lot of statements have come from the archdiocese to the contrary, but we were raised as Catholics with a sense of social conscience to stand up for those who are struggling—for full rights, for equality, for recognition.
It’s great to see people of all religious backgrounds coming together in opposition to this amendment. Hopefully, these folks will be able to have many conversations leading up to this fall and help others understand that love is love.
Note: Minnesotans United for All Families has added a “Catholics Vote No” bumper sticker to their online store.
Please take a minute to watch this video. It’s crazy motivating to see how big an impact just one single voice can have on the outcome of this vote in NOvember. I posted this statistic previously, but 67% of voters are more likely to vote NO after hearing from someone they know. I’ll repeat one thing the video has to say:
Spread the word.
Let’s beat this.