…there’s a rally underway to celebrate what amounts to a victory for supporters of gay rights
That’s how Randy Meier introduces this 3-minute news story on the United for Our Future Rally that I had the opportunity to attend last night. It was fun to watch this video, as it brought me right back to the energy and emotion of Wednesday night.
Oh, and you get a quick glimpse of the back of my head… *grin* ;)
After two and a half days with little to no sleep, it’s time to crawl into bed and truly rest. In attending the United for Our Future Rally tonight at the State Capitol, I know that I am not the only one going on little sleep.
Thank you to every single person out there that fought tirelessly the past couple of days – and all year, for that matter – to help us achieve what no state has done before us: a defeat on an anti-marriage amendment.
Before I fall into slumber, I wanted to share with you the statement released from Richard Carlbom, Campaign Manager of Minnesotans United, on the win:
Today, the people of Minnesota spoke loudly and clearly and became the first state in the country to defeat this kind of hurtful, freedom-limiting amendment. They said no to limiting the freedom of committed and loving couples in Minnesota, they said no to singling out and excluding one group of people from a basic freedom just because of who they are, and they said no to telling some people it’s illegal to marry the person they love.
The strength of this campaign was our thousands of volunteers, and our broad and diverse coalition of partners. This campaign did something that has never been done before: it brought together people of all faiths, in all communities, and of all political affiliations on the principle that freedom means freedom for everybody. The strength of those who have come together and worked to defeat this amendment was rewarded today, and without their work, this would not have been possible.
This campaign has changed the course of politics in our state forever. Over the course of the last year and a half, we’ve sparked an honest, statewide conversation about why marriage matters and who should have the freedom to participate in it. Today, Minnesotans voted in favor of love, freedom, and fairness – because that’s what this state is about.
For many, faith in what is good has been restored.
What a year it has been! From my very first blog post last year, I could never have anticipated the excitement, anxiety and hope this journey would bring! I’ve met some wonderful people through the process and my faith in one person being able to make a difference has been restored.
So, tonight, in the comforts of my own home, I’m throwing a little election party with a couple close friends. As I posted last night on Facebook:
Blue and orange mylar balloons, $7.
Matching blue and orange plates, napkins utensils, and streamers, $18.
Blue and orange hand soaps, $6.
Standing up for equality and making history, priceless.
I can’t image not being with friends tonight as we watch the results come in. If you are still looking for a gathering place, Minnesotans United for All Families has put together a big viewing party. You can learn all about it on their Facebook page.
In just over 3 hours, Minnesota polls will close and we will know what side of history Minnesota will fall on…
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.
On Friday, Minnesotans United posted the latest television commercial in the campaign. The first 10-seconds of the ad is narrated while the recent misleading Minnesota for Marriage commercial plays in the background. A female voice shares:
Unfortunately, supporters of the marriage amendment have been trying to mislead Minnesotans. These ads have been deemed false and misleading.
Statements including “false amendment 1 ads by out-of-state interests” and “WCCO: ‘False’ and ‘Misleading’” are displayed on top of the Minnesota for Marriage ad as the narrator speaks.
At 11s, the solid dark background of the ad is replaced with John and Elizabeth from Edina, Minnesota sitting at what appears to be their dining room table. The couple talk directly to the camera:
Elizabeth: Our parents taught us the Golden Rule, not judging others and treating others the way we’d like to be treated.
John: And those are the values we’re showing our children by voting no on the marriage amendment.
What do you think about this response? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Check out this new radio commercial from Minnesotans United. It’s a full 60-second audio clip that includes a narrator and Kim from Savage, Minnesota encouraging a NO vote. The ad introduces Kim as “a mother, a Catholic and a Republican.” For those that watched the 30-second commercial I posted yesterday, you’ll notice that it’s the same audio track included in this radio ad.
The narrator concludes the ad with a call to action:
If you agree that we shouldn’t use Minnesota’s constitution to deny anyone a basic freedom and that it shouldn’t be illegal to marry the person you love, on Tuesday, please vote no on amendment 1.
If you hear this ad on the radio, be sure to post a comment and let me know what you think!
[Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt] 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.
John Kriesel, State Representative
Source: South Washington County Bulletin
This quote is from Republican Representative John Kriesel’s speech before the Minnesota House of Representatives in which he argued against putting up for a popular vote whether or not we should limit the rights of marriage. He was one of only two Republicans that voted against the amendment.
Earlier this week, I posted the 5th television spot that Minnesotans United for All Families released in which they incorporate part of Kriesel’s speech.
A powerful reminder that this amendment impacts REAL Minnesotans. I hope you will join me in saying NO to writing discrimination into our state constitution.
In Minnesota, there are certain truths we hold dear: freedom, treating others as we would want to be treated and honesty. Supporters of the marriage amendment aren’t living up to that.
Kim goes on to rebuff claims made in the recent Minnesota for Marriage ad when she states:
The truth? This amendment means no change to what schools teach. And no change to the fact that children learn their most important values at home from their parents.
The 30-second spot concludes with Kim speaking to the camera again:
The values we share and the values we want to teach our kids are why so many Minnesotans are voting No on Amendment 1. And I hope you will too.
Clearly, the reference to “Amendment 1″ was in response to Minnesota for Marriage calling it that in their commercial. You see, everyone has heard the message, “Vote No on the marriage amendment.” So, strategically, it makes sense that Minnesota for Marriage doesn’t refer to it by that name.
It’s also clear that Minnesotans United is countering amendment supporters’ Kalley Yanta with Kim. Talking to the camera in a soft voice reminds me of Minnesota for Marriage’s second ad (sans the iPad and coffee mug).
I’m not sure if this spot will air on television, but I hope it does. Why we didn’t proactively address this concern is still beyond me, but we can evaluate our strategies next week. Right now, let’s defeat this mean-spirited amendment!
A wonderful full-page ad from October 28, 2012 Star Tribune.
Source: Minnesotans United for All Families’ Facebook Page
Late last week, the Star Tribune shared how the Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch ad agency organized a “Vote No” event. According to Doug Spong, president of Carmichael Lynch:
If we hang a big unwelcome sign on the state of Minnesota, a certain segment of the population will no longer view Minnesota as an inclusive, diverse, tolerant, welcoming state. It’s going to cost us people. It’s going to cost us talent.
I’ve made the business case against this mean-spirited amendment on this blog many times. Now there’s a fancy ad agency backing it up!
Many thanks to Carmichael Lynch for standing up for equality and businesses in Minnesota!
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
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.
That’s the title of a Star Trib article posted yesterday which features a video from the Minnesotans United for All Families’ rally on Monday night.
The event featured a long list of speakers, including Amy Klobuchar, Al Frankin, Cheryl Reeve, Scott Dibble and Minnesota Vikings punter, Chris Kluwe to name a few.
According to the Trib, the crowd was 1,800 strong:
Monday’s rally brought together swarms of supporters waving orange and blue signs, vowing to defeat an amendment that voters in 30 other states have passed without exception, including California and Maine.
Of course, we’re not alone. The article also talks about the fact that Minnesota for Marriage is also ramping up their efforts with non-stop phone banking and new radio ads (in addition to their deceptive television spots).
According to Chuck Darrell, Spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage:
The bottom line, rallies don’t win elections, getting people to the polls does.
And he’s absolutely right. So come on Minnesota – get out there and remember to vote NO on writing discrimination into our state constitution. Stand with me on the right side of history and let’s celebrate love, not penalize it.
If you don’t already have one of these wristbands, consider picking one up today! I can’t tell you how many questions and compliments I’ve received on my wristband over the past month. A cool way to show your support in the final days of the campaign!
It was only a matter of time before Minnesota for Marriage started playing dirty. As predicted, the group that supports the mean-spirited marriage amendment is waiting until the last days before the campaign to release commercials filled with scare tactics and threats of how things would change in Minnesota if the marriage amendment is defeated.
I’m not sure what sickens me more, the fact that Minnesota for Marriage would run such a deceptive ad or the fact that many Minnesotans will believe this message.
Minnesotans United for All Families has already put out a fact check document that refutes each of the claims made in the new commercial.
The thing I find to be the most frustrating about this is that I blogged about this very topic months ago. We KNEW this attack was coming and yet we did not proactively address it. Instead, we continue to run this terrible commercial (there, I said it). We’ve said since DAY 1 that the “rights” argument doesn’t resonate with voters, and yet this is the ad that continues to run. Where are the real Minnesotans? Where are the personal stories each of us has been encouraged to tell.
With less than two weeks to go, we’ve got to update our strategy or we will lose this fight in Minnesota.
It’s really no surprise that we’re being outspent. Money doesn’t speak on this issue. The voices of the majority of Minnesotans are going to be heard much more loudly at the polls.
Autumn Leva, spokesperson, Minnesota for Marriage
Source: Star Tribune
Leva responds to the fact that Minnesotans United for All Families has continued to outraise amendment supporters more than 4-to-1.
Minnesotans United for All Families spokesperson, Kate Brickman, confirms that money alone won’t win this election:
Raising money alone is not going to win us the campaign. Our fundraising has been a way to get engaged in the campaign.
The Star Tribune article breaks down donations on both sides:
More than 70 percent of Minnesota for Marriage’s funds come from two organizations. The Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense Fund donated $600,000 and the Minnesota Family Council Marriage Protection Fund gave $250,000.
Minnesotans United has drawn its contributions from more than 44,000 donors, with about 90 percent coming from within the state. The group’s latest fundraising report does not include more than $350,000 the group raised over the weekend at hundreds of house party fundraisers.
Groups supporting same sex marriage bans have been outspent in most of the 30 states where the issue reached the ballot, but have yet to lose an election.
Let’s prove Leva and amendment supporters wrong: No matter how you spin it, or how much you spend, Minnesotans stand up for equality and just say NO.