Category "Equality/Freedom"

April 8, 2005

JustFair Lobby Day, Optimism Prevails Above Atrocious Tactics

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On Thursday I attended the Minnesota Outfront’s JustFair Lobby Day at the MN State Capital with Nick, Lesley, and Laura. This annual event is for GLBT supporters and allies to make a presence on Capital Hill to pronounce their opinion predominately in regards to equality. The daily agenda consisted of speakers, ranging from national gay activists to local homosexual clergy, same-sex families showing their pride, lawmakers talking with their respective GLBT constituents, and of course counter-activism groups protesting GLBT rights. Morale was extremely high amongst supporters, despite various atrocious tactics introduced by GLBT antagonists.

It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded with like-minded individuals, people who share a common social belief, equality. We surround ourselves with vile people everyday, not always by choice. People who choose to ignore diversity and maintain their uneducated beliefs of life. These are the people that open their mouth before they think about opening their mind. It was very empowering and emotional to analyze various groups of people that attended the event. GLBT families, couples that brought their kids out to the event, family members of non-heterosexual individuals, lawmakers, activists, religious groups, and students. The event was very delightful; however, it was very disheartening to see supporters hindering their heartbreaking emotions, struggling just to maintain the few rights they currently have to protest a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, along with other benefits pertaining to non-heterosexuals. Depressing emotions fill my mind watching a minority struggle just to maintain their current discriminatory status within our society, begging not to widen the gap of inequality.

Pathetic, immoral tactics were attempted by Sen. Michele Bachmann, the Stillwater Republican who’s led the push for the ban on same-sex marriage and prohibiting GLBT equality. While activists convened outside on Capital Hill, Bachmann tried forcing a floor vote on the constitutional amendment. The Senate respectively rejected the floor vote. Her shameful behavior is obviously for the interest of her political gain than it is for the benefits of Minnesotans. Michelle, I really hope you understand historically you’ll be located adjacent to every lawmaker that promoted inequality. You’re an enormous threat to the foundation of our nation, freedom. Her uneducated views of sexuality are completely illogical with no supporting evidence to back up her claims.

In conclusion, activism is a very important part of gaining equality for all, not only for non-heterosexuals. The only way to change the views of society is to educate. The only threat to Minnesota is closed-minded, uneducated people who promote inequality, not same-sex marriage. I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from an individual who died for what he believed in, Martin Luther King Jr. “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Posted by ande4192 at 4:05 PM | Equality/Freedom

Category "Equality/Freedom"

April 6, 2005

Potential Discriminatory Constitutional Amendment

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The news was extremely discouraging to me when the MN House of Reps passed HF6 last Thursday night; however, I’m very optimistic about a similar bill fading quickly after the Senate’s review. This same bill, last year, displayed a stronger favor in the House than this year; however, the DFL-controlled Senate refused to vote on the bill. Optimistically, I truly believe the same result will transpire this year.

The DFL-controlled Senate, Majority Leader Dean Johnson already threatened to introduce several opposition bills such as universal health insurance, environmental protections, and a ban on state-run casinos. I think the majority of Republicans have too much to lose; therefore, they won’t vote on HF6, even though the bill is currently half way to the ballots.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Dan Severson, stated the main point of the bill is to further protect marriage by completely prohibiting any activist judge from issuing same sex marriage rights. This is completely illogical, in my mind, since Minnesota already has a “Defense of Marriage Act.” The only reason I see behind this bill is to discriminate against and further separate non-heterosexuals from equality.

I strongly believe the tactics of the House failed; however, it’s very disheartening that our lawmakers are diverting their attention from critical aspects of society pertaining to healthcare, economic issues, and education to create discriminatory laws. Conservatives need to reanalyze their reasons for representing their constituents; is it to create protection for heterosexual marriage (the only threat to heterosexual marriage is heterosexual divorce), or is it to help society in terms of healthcare, economic growth, or education?

Posted by ande4192 at 1:18 AM | Equality/Freedom

Category "Equality/Freedom"

March 30, 2005

Take Action Today!

The Human Rights Campaign & Outfront Minnesota issued an action alert based on the actions of our wonderful state lawmakers trying to prohibit equality by introducing HF6. I highly suggest contacting a lawmaker from the website listed below, even if you're not a MN resident, and let them know what you think of HF6!

On Tuesday, March 29, the Minnesota House Rules Committee voted 15-8 to recommend that the full House vote to approve HF6, a proposal to amend the Minnesota constitution to outlaw all forms of legal recognition for same-sex couples and their families. This vote, scheduled by committee leaders at the last minute and with very little publicity, is the last procedural hurdle HF6 must clear before the proposal comes to the full House for a vote.

That vote could occur as early as tomorrow -- Thursday, March 31. The time to act is NOW!

Please contact your Representative in the House of Representatives (Not sure who represents you? Use our district finder) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and ask them to vote against HF6! Representatives and their staff routinely report that they hear from many, many more supporters of HF6 than they do from fair-minded Minnesotans who see this proposed amendment as damaging to Minnesota families.

Please call, email or fax your representative at your earliest opportunity to urge them to vote against HF6.
To find out who your reprsentative is and to get their contact information, please visit:

http://geo.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/districts/start.html

Remember:
This amendment is not "just" about marriage equality for same-sex couples -- it would also outlaw any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples and their families, including arrangements such as civil unions and domestic partnerships -- which surveys indicate most Minnesotans and Americans actually support.

If approved, this amendment would for the first time mandate discrimination against some Minnesota families; inviting majorities to write restrictions on the rights of minorities into state constitutions is the sort of abuse of the democratic process constitutions were intended to prevent.

The proposed amendment not only will not help a single Minnesota family, its proponents cannot even explain the extent of the harm it would inflict on same-sex couples and their families (read more). In other states, amendments have been used to drop domestic-abuse charges, to rescind domestic partner benefits, and challenge custody arrangements (read more).

Although a final House vote on HF6 could occur as early as March 31st, it remains critical to turn out mass numbers at justFair Lobby Day and the Rally for Fairness at the Capitol on Thursday, April 7, because the Senate has yet to take up the amendment. Click here for lots more information on the second-largest GLBT event in Minnesota!

Posted by ande4192 at 5:26 PM | Equality/Freedom