In case you missed it last week, same-sex marriage opponents announced a significant influx of dollars to their campaign to the tune of 2 million dollars. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) sent out an email about a donation match offer from an “anonymous donor” (of course the donor is anonymous;NOM never seems to have to disclose where their money comes from). For every dollar donated to NOM, the anonymous donor will add two more dollars to match. The total haul? 3 million dollars to ensuring same-sex couples are treated unequally by the law.
Here are some excerpts from the e-mail NOM sent out to their supporters:
What would you do to raise $3 million to protect marriage from Barack Obama and his wealthy homosexual lobbyists?
A couple paragraphs later, they take another stab at Obama, call out their success in passing Prop 8 in California and let supporters know they’re working hard in Minnesota:
The National Organization for Marriage is the most effective pro-marriage organization in America fighting Obama’s attempts to re-define marriage. NOM also led the fight to defend every successful pro-marriage campaign since Prop. 8 in California, and we’ve been on the front lines in Minnesota, North Carolina, Iowa, Maryland, and states across the nation.
As always, NOM continues to deceive claiming that same-sex equality is supported by “billionaire gay marriage activists:”
This new $2 million matching grant challenge will help us compete even more effectively with Obama’s billionaire gay marriage activists and wealthy Hollywood celebrities who are determined to impose homosexual marriage as the law of the land.
The reality is that Minnesotans United for All Families raised $2.56 million dollars between July 24 and September 18. That money came from over25,000 individual donors! And 98% of those donors were from Minnesota! (source) But facts don’t seem to matter to the other side. Anything they can do to rally their troops, even if it means telling outright lies, they’ll do it.
I’m so tired of this outside organization pouring dollars into this state in an attempt to influence Minnesotans. It would be one thing if they were at least honest in their attempts, but again and again, they mislead voters and refuse to play by the same rules as everyone else. It’s time we call them on their shenanigans.
Here’s my simple message to NOM: Get out of my state. Take your lies and dollars elsewhere. Let real Minnesotans have this conversation with each other.
To help counter NOM’s fundraising, please consider making a small donation to Minnesotans United for All Families through my personal fundraising page.
By now, we all know where the major party candidates running for President stand on the topic of same-sex marriage equality. What you may not know, however, is the backstory that got us here.
I’ve already shared several articles and blogs about how support of same-sex marriage made it into the Democratic Platform (here and here). The following provides a little bit of background on the Republican Platform.
In late August, the Republican platform committee voted on a proposed plank that would have added the recognition of civil unions for unmarried couples – both gay and straight – to the party platform. The plank, proposed by Rhode Island representative Barbara Ann Fenton, did not pass.
Even though the proposed plank was defeated, there was still an attempt to clarify the language around “traditional marriage.” According to Politico:
…Nevada representative Pat Kerby tried to amend the traditional marriage section to say that every American should be treated “equally under the law” as long as they are not hurting anyone else. He said that the GOP should focus on an economic message, not waging the culture wars.
However, Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach disagreed. In fact, he contended that the government still “condem[s]” activities like drugs and polygamy even though they aren’t hurting anyone else. (Sad to see love between two people compared to drugs and polygamy.)
But it wasn’t just Kobach that spoke out. There were many others willing to speak out against civil unions. The final result:
The GOP will maintain its official support for a constitutional amendment that would “protect traditional marriage” by defining it as between a man and a woman.
Yes, you read that right: The GOP maintains it’s support for a constitutional change to “protect traditional marriage.”
Of course, this is just one issue within the Platform, however, it’s a pretty big one for most reading this blog. Educate yourself on the Platforms from both sides and then cast your vote this November.
I’m standing with the guy that opposes amending the Minnesota state constitution to limit the rights of committed same-sex couples.
Note: You can learn more about the discussion and see more quotes from the platform committee via Politico.
A new ad put out by the Campaign for American Values PAC attacks Obama and his support of same-sex marriage. In the commercial, a concerned couple discusses a newspaper headline. The wife starts out:
Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. That’s not the change I voted for. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
The husband, visibly concerned, shares:
That’s not the change I voted for either.
After his wife asks what they can do about it, weird music starts (you’ll have to watch it to see what I mean) and the husband concludes their dialogue with:
We can vote for someone with values.
The text “Vote Romney/Ryan” is displayed on the screen over a washed out picture of the concerned couple and what appears to be their family. The voice over shares that this ad was paid for by the Campaign for American Values PAC.
And so starts the very public attack on love.
My friend Joe emailed me his personal story a while back. The following excerpt sheds some light on what we may expect to see in the next eight weeks:
If the tenor of previous campaigns in other states is any indication, my partner and I will be called a number of horrible things. We will be labeled as members of an unfairly entitled interest group shilling for special rights. We will be framed as people who, if this amendment fails, will demand even more extreme rights – the right to marry our pets, for example. And, once a global consensus is reached on the reality of global warming, I’m sure our role in causing it by daring to live together as a committed couple will be added to an ever lengthening list of personal sins.
Although I may be a technical whiz when it comes to SharePoint, I promise you my god-like powers do not extend that far.
Unfortunately, I believe Joe’s prediction for Minnesota is true. We already know that amendment supporters know that many people don’t have an issue with committed same-sex couples. As a result, they’ll do whatever it takes in an attempt to pass this mean-spirited amendment. I just hope all of our voices can counter the message effectively and we can say NO to hatred, inequality and this amendment.
Ha! It would be funny if it wasn’t true. Though, Republicans like Madeline Koch give me hope. There are many Minnesotans – on both sides of the aisle – that support equality and will vote NO in NOvember.
Last week, I shared a story from MPR that spoke about the strong support marriage amendments have received from the African American community. In response to the post, some have asked the question, “Why would we single out the African American community, when we don’t do that with other groups?” In response, I would say that analysis does indeed single out many groups’ level of support. Polling numbers are sliced and diced in a plethora of ways. When we do that, we continue to see common trends around the support for marriage amendments:
- Higher support among older Americans
- Higher support among Republicans
- Slightly higher support from males
- Higher support from those that have less education
- Higher support from those that identify as Catholic
Now, does this mean that all Republicans will vote for the amendment? Of course not! Thankfully, we’ve got many Republicans on our side (we’d have no hope of defeating this thing in Minnesota if we didn’t). Similarly, it does not mean that all African Americans will vote for the amendment either. However, ignoring trends from previous elections because we don’t want anyone to feel singled out is a sure way to lose this election.
We need to talk about what the reality is and find ways to influence those voters. Just the other day, the Washington Post shared the story titled: “Obama and same-sex marriage: Will his stance cost him the African-American vote?” In the article, the Post shares the words of Reverend William Owens, a minister and vocal opponent of marriage equality:
Claiming to speak for thousands, he connected the prevalence of same-sex marriage to the collapse of the African-American family. And he threatened the president with a widespread revolt by black voters on Election Day. “He has not done a smart thing,” Owens said.
The Post references how other news organizations had picked up the story with headlines like, “Obama’s support for gay marriage ‘might cost him the election’” and then goes on to talk about how that reality is not a likely outcome.
However, if pre-polling and exit polling numbers are any indication, it is likely that many African Americans will vote for the marriage amendment (along with Republicans, males, older voters, less-educated voters and others). The question that we need to ask is: How do we make sure we amp up the conversations we’re having with ALL of these folks.
I still don’t fully understand how anyone (regardless of who it may be) could vote to limit the freedoms of another group within the state constitution.
Note: As I find analysis of polling numbers, I’ll continue to post. It’s not to single out any group (Republicans, Catholics, African Americans, etc.), but rather to highlight where we may need to do some extra work. If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you understand that my approach through all of this centers around two things: 1) Defeating this amendment and 2) Love. We all need to come together and figure out how we defeat this thing, and sometimes, that’s going to require us to have some uncomfortable conversations. Through all of this though, we need to remember why we’re fighting: because of love. Together, I think we can beat this thing in Minnesota, but make no mistake, it’s going to require a lot of work to do it. I hope you’re with me.
Yesterday, I posted an article from the Washington Blade that spoke to rumors that the Obama Administration may be close to coming out in support of gay marriage. Michael Tomasky does a nice job capturing why the president shouldn’t defend gay marriage (for now, anyway, at least according to the article).
According to Tomasky, Obama’s reasons for supporting gay marriage include:
- It’s simply the right thing to do
- Pro-marriage position is now in step with the American majority
- Political benefit, including fund raising
- Energize young voters; give them a reason to go out canvassing again
- Powerful message, overall, to hear a leader make this type of proclamation
And Tomasky’s argument why Obama should not come out in support of gay marriage at this point:
- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina are put at risk (51 electoral votes)
- Win first and then do it; doing it in the context of campaigning may create a perception that there are other motives behind the decision
I can see the pros and cons on each side of the issue. I would add an additional con:
- By coming out in support of an issue that only has a slim majority, does the President actually do more to mobilize the far right; would this be the hot-button issue that gets out voters from the other side? For those of us in states facing a vote on marriage this November, I’d like to make sure we keep these folks as quiet as possible…
Mr. Tomasky goes on to muse about how Obama may legalize gay marriage, even painting a picture of Obama raising his glass to propose a toast at a gay wedding ceremony sometime in his second term.
The conclusion of the article gave me goosebumps:
And by Jan. 19, 2017, his last night in the White House, 65 percent of Americans will support the right, the usual 35 percent will be left wondering what happened to “their” country, and those new generations of Americans will still have seen, and still pretty dramatically, that a Democratic president took a risk and did the morally right thing. Which I’m all for. I’m just for winning first.
I think I’m with you, Mr. Tomasky!
The President has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples… That’s why he has called for repeal of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ and determined that his Administration would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA in the courts.
Shin Inouye, White House spokesperson, June 25, 2011
Source: ABC News
Inouye made this statement after New York voted to legalize gay marriage last June.
I posted last week on how Obama opposes the North Carolina marriage amendment, but is the President really ready to endorse gay marriage as part of his platform? The Washington Blade seems to think that this could become a reality.
According to the Blade:
The chances that Obama will make such an announcement before the election are looking better than in previous months as the issue receives growing media attention and voters in a handful of states face ballot initiatives this year.
An informed source, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said “active conversations” are taking place between the White House and the campaign about whether Obama should complete his evolution on marriage and that the chances of him making an announcement are about 50-50.
An “informed source” and chances of “50-50” don’t really instill a lot of confidence that Obama will come storming out in favor of same-sex marriage across the country. However, I do believe that Democrats may be realizing that they have the ability to send a message of equality and paint the picture of how they’re ‘fighting for the underdog’ in upcoming election battles. Will we arrive there in time for November? Guess we’ll just have to stay tuned!
Happy for my friends in North Carolina right about now! Cool to see Obama come out in opposition for Amendment One on Friday:
“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples,” said Cameron French, the Obama campaign’s North Carolina spokesman, in a statement. “That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do — it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples — and that’s why the president does not support it.”
Here’s hoping the President’s opposition to the amendment helps sway voters who are undecided or would otherwise vote for this mean-spirited and discriminatory amendment. We will be keeping close tabs on NC over the next two months!
Santorum claims that he and Obama have the same views on gay marriage. Interesting response from White House spokesman Jay Carney:
You know very well what the president’s views are on LGBT issues and civil rights. The president is very proud of this administration’s record on those issues…