In addition to Minnesota, you’ve heard me talk about Maine, Maryland and Washington throughout the past year. Well, I’m happy to officially report that Washington State has finally been called: Washingtonians have stood for equality and voted in favor of same-sex marriage!
That means that each of the four states that voted on marriage equality on Tuesday took a stand on the right side of history!
Here’s a great graphic from TheFour.com that currently graces my Facebook Profile!
Congratulations to all of my friends in Maine, Maryland, Washington and of course, Minnesota.
Here’s a quick update on the four states voting on marriage equality:
Maryland (4% reporting)
Maine (4.8% reporting):
Minnesota* (3% reporting):
Polls still open
*Reminder, a NO vote in Minnesota keeps an anti-marriage amendment out of our constitution. Maryland and Maine are voting for same-sex marriage, so a yes there is a good thing.
Frank Schubert has been busy in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington this election season. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been pouring out-of-state money into each of these races to help fund ads filled with scare tactics and misleading information to trick people into voting against equality.
If you have any doubt, take a look at this fantastic video that TheFour put together in which they compare the commercials currently running in each of the four states that have marriage initiatives on the ballot.
While each commercial has their state-specific organization stamped on the screen, the fact that each commercial is identical highlights an organized effort at the national level to stop marriage equality.
The commercials use the same messaging that has worked so well for Schubert in other states like California where voters elected to limit the rights of committed same-sex couples.
Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington, let’s send Schubert a strong message: Your scare tactics are outdated and voters are smart enough to see through your twisting of the truth.
Oh, and take your money and mean-spirited commercials elsewhere. In Minnesota, we believe in the Golden Rule.
In Minnesota, we Vote No.
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!!
As many of my blog followers know, Minnesota is one of four states facing a vote on same-sex marriage this NOvember.
In Washington state, they are voting to uphold a law that was passed earlier this year legalizing gay marriage. Similar to Minnesota, same-sex opponents have started to run commercials and they’re using similar scare tactics to what we’re seeing here.
The Seattle PI dug into the claims and found out that, like here in Minnesota, opponents are intentionally misleading voters.
In one of the anti-same sex marriage commercials running in Washington state, a narrator shares:
“Religious groups such as Catholic Charities, in Boston and Washington, D.C., have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission — based on their religious beliefs — or accepting this new definition of marriage. As a result, they had to close their adoption program.”
However, that’s not really the truth. In fact, the chairman of the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Boston, Peter Mead, has this to say:
“Opponents of the freedom to marry ignore the truth and distort history when they talk about Catholic Charities of Boston and its decision to shut down its adoption services. I’m shocked and amazed that so many years later, they are making the false claim that Catholic Charities’ decision had anything to do with allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.”
As the Boston Globe has documented, Catholic Charities placed 13 children with gay couples BEFORE the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The children were largely from difficult backgrounds and among those “harder to place,” in Meade’s words.
Stopping the adoptions didn’t come about because of the fact that same-sex marriage was legal:
The orders came from above — and from across the Atlantic. ”In 2005, tragically and out of the blue, the Vatican ordered our diocese to cease using the single criteria of ‘best interest of the children,’” writes Meade. ”They ordered us to stop facilitating adoptions to qualified gay and lesbian households. “I objected strenuously for two reasons. First and foremost, the Church hierarchy was telling us to violate the best interests of the children who were in our care. It was an arbitrary edict that, to many of us, had nothing to do with what was best for these kids and undermined our moral priority of helping vulnerable children find loving homes.”
Meade goes on to talk about how the 42 directors of the Catholic Charties of Boston voted unanimously not to exclude gay and lesbian couples as they believed the Vatican edict was wrong.
“When the hierarchy insisted, the organization had no choice but to end Catholic Charities’ adoption services. To me, and seven other board members, that forced our hand. We could no longer serve on the board so we resigned.”
Meade concludes with:
“As a Catholic, my faith continues to call me to treat every person as a child of God. What happened in Massachusetts should not have happened. “But what’s made it even worse is twisting a tough and sad outcome of one Catholic Charities into a fear-baiting talking point by opponents of the freedom to marry. It’s not truthful and it only takes us further from loving our neighbor as God commands.
It is clear that certain organizations will do whatever it takes to ensure that same-sex couples cannot celebrate the love they have for one another. Hopefully, posts like this help provide additional education for those that may not be fully aware.
Note: Excerpts above from SeattlePI.com. Read the article in it’s entirety here.
For those of you that missed it this past week, Nordstrom adds their name to the growing list of businesses that have spoken out in favor of marriage equality:
With respect to our gay and lesbian employees, Nordstrom was an early adopter of adding sexual orientation to our anti-discrimination policy, which means we guarantee the same legal rights and protections in our workplace to gay and lesbian employees just as we do for other employees regardless of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical, mental or sensory disability, and gender identity.
We feel the next step in this journey is to now support freedom to marry, also called marriage equality. There is a lot of awareness of this issue across the country and we’ve heard from many employees and customers. We gave this thoughtful consideration and felt the time was right to come out in support of this civil rights issue. It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as our other employees.
Blake Nordstrom, President, Nordstrom, Inc
Pete Nordstrom, President of Merchandising, Nordstrom
Erik Nordstrom, President of Stores, Nordstrom
To read the complete letter and to see GLAAD’s coverage, check out GLAAD’s blog.
Nordstrom joins the likes of Starbucks, Google, Amazon.com, Microsoft, T-Mobile, REI, Nike and many other Washington businesses that support marriage equality.
Yet another company has come out in support of marriage equality in Washington state! Outdoor retailer, REI, announced their support through a blog post to the company’s 11,000 employees. CEO and President Sally Jewell had this to share:
Marriage equality is important to the co-op because the benefits, legal clarity and societal understanding that Warren and I have enjoyed these past 34 years should be available to any two people who want to express their love and make a permanent commitment to each other that is so clearly provided for in the legal definition of marriage.
REI joins the likes of Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft and other companies with a large presence in Washington state that have come out in favor of marriage equality.
Hey Minnesota CEOs, I think it may be time…
An interesting article that talks about how groups like the National Organization for Marriage are losing ground in the fight for marriage equality. The author talks about several big companies that have come out in support of gay rights and how NOM has had little impact to sway those decisions. According to the story:
…the Human Rights Campaign launched a petition in support of General Mills [for their opposition to the marriage amendment]. To date, more than 70,000 people have signed HRC’s petition.
In contrast, NOM launched a petition denouncing General Mills, which so far has been backed by only 17,000 people, nearly five times fewer than HRC’s petition.
In addition to General Mills, the article talks about Starbucks as well:
When Seattle-based Starbucks, a coffee titan, opposed the anti-gay amendment, NOM called for a boycott of the company. A “Thank You Starbucks” Web campaign received more than 650,000 supporters, while NOM’s “Dump Starbucks” campaign has received about 45,000.
Could this be a sign that NOM’s influence is waning across the country? Is it a sign that organizations are becoming more willing to stand up against these mean-spirited measures regardless of backlash from the other side? As a Minnesotan, and a voter that will be saying NO this NOvember, I hope that this change of tide is in time to help us defeat the amendment in the fall. We’ve already seen several Minnesota businesses take a stand opposing the amendment, let’s rally on many more!
Last week, I shared the video of Republican, Maureen Walsh and how she spoke before the House of Representatives in Washington State in favor of marriage equality. Recently, the Seattle Times did a story on Ms. Walsh and the fact that gay donors from across the country have donated to her re-election campaign.
According to the Times:
It is a pattern that is becoming more common as more state legislatures tackle gay marriage: A Republican or a conservative Democrat takes a bold public stance in favor of same-sex marriage, and soon after, receives the support of wealthy donors trying to offset possible backlash.
This should be a clear message to those afraid to speak out against mean-spirited amendments: the LGBT community is a very loyal community. If you stand up for our rights, we will support you.
However, her opposition – Mary Ruth Edwards – is already speaking out:
After I looked up who my representative was, I said to myself: I don’t want to be represented by someone who says she is a Republican, but was a co-sponsor of the bill to redefine marriage.
It’ll be interesting to watch how those who vote in favor of marriage equality will be affected in the fall.
To Ms. Walsh, thank you again for standing up for equality and love.
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.
I just came across a great blog post that gives me a lot of hope. In Washington State, Catholic pastors have been given the option to “opt out” of collecting signatures in an effort to repeal same-sex marriage. In fact, Reverend Tim Clark received a standing ovation from his parish when he announced that they would not be gathering signatures. The parish is the sixth in Seattle to opt out of the petition drive.
The standing ovation experienced during one of the Masses says less about me and much more about the health of this parish. I only wished the archbishop [J. Peter Sartain] could have experienced the sustained applause — the ‘sensus fidelium’ — of the people. He needs to listen to this ‘voice.’ That is my prayer.
We need more leaders like Reverend Clark. Thank you for standing up for what you believe to be right.
Unfortunately, in Minnesota, folks like archbishop John Nienstedt have given parishes no option to opt out of supporting the mean-spirited Minnesota marriage amendment. In fact, back in January I blogged about how the archbishop issued a very clear message: If you disagree with the amendment or the church’s support, you had best keep it to yourself.
Kudos to Reverend Tim Clark, his congregation and all of those in Washington State that support equality for all.
Last week, Newt Gingrich visited Washington State and this is what The News Tribune had to report:
Newt Gingrich brought his presidential campaign to Olympia on Friday, telling state lawmakers and reporters that Washington is doing the wrong thing – but “doing it the right way” – on gay marriage.
Newt says that he doesn’t agree with it and would vote no himself, but the state is doing the right thing by putting the issue out to voters. Interesting concept, Newt: Letting the majority determine equality for the minority. Yikes. That’s a dangerous precedent to set.
The article goes on to talk about how Gingrich continues to remind people of his conservative record and insists he can compete with Santorum for far right voters.
Minnesota is no exception. Voters will be faced with an amendment on marriage this NOvember. Proponents of the amendment say that it’s about “protecting marriage in Minnesota,” however, don’t be fooled. This amendment has little to do with protecting anything. In fact, same sex marriage is already prohibited in the state of Minnesota. Many people don’t even realize that. So truly, this amendment does nothing other than rehash an old debate. If you look at the history of amendments that voters have faced in Minnesota, there hasn’t been a single amendment that tried to limit the rights of the minority outside of this one.
And if you think Minnesota is too progressive, or could never pass such a mean-spirited amendment, you need to think again. If Minnesotans were to vote today, polls show this amendment passing. Yes, you heard that right: If we were to vote today, Minnesota voters would choose to update the state constitution to write in something that has already been defined for the state. This amendment would change absolutely nothing, other than put Minnesota on the wrong side of history.
With that said, there are some very positive signs. In December, Duluth became the first city to voice opposition to the amendment this NOvember. Minneapolis followed suit in 2012. Additionally, there have been many groups that have come out against the amendment including Minnesota Rabbis and Minneapolis Evangelical Lutherans along with high-power individuals like Marilyn Carlson Nelson, CEO of Carlson Companies. Missing from this group of opponents? Minnesota’s big businesses. Up to this point, many have been silent about the amendment this NOvember. Yet many of these same companies will be at Twin Cities Pride this year professing their love and support of the LGBT community; hypocrisy? You be the judge.
At the end of the day, marriage equality is moving forward. People like Zach Wahls are telling their stories. Non-profits like GetUp! Action for Australia are helping people to understand that love is love. Heck, even the Golden Girls were talking about marriage equality over 20 years ago.
I believe we’ll do what’s right in Minnesota and defeat this mean-spirited amendment; after all, love is love. Minnesota voters, I hope you’ll join me in voting NO at the polls this NOvember. It’s about equality. It’s about fairness. It’s about love.
And it’s about time.
Here’s a 4-minute clip from King5 News in Washington State that highlights the impacts of the Defense of Marriage Act and the fact that the Federal Government does not recognize same-sex marriages. The news story features 2 different couples in the state of Massachusetts and speaks to things like tax laws, social security and other inequities these married couples face from a federal perspective.
In the wake of Washington passing gay marriage, this is a good reminder that even with our wins, we still have a way to go.
One pastor thinks it’s time to boycott Starbucks because they have signed on to support marriage equality in the state of Washington. In fact, Pastor Steven Andrew goes as far as to say:
Starbucks can follow Satan if they want to.
Source: King5 News
Yup. This is what we’re up against people. Ignorance and hate is getting so old. Keep up the great work, Washington State, and Congrats to you!