Watch Video Below as Minnesota Marriage Ban’s Far Reaching Implications brings out the crowds on Lobby Day
By Melanie Nathan, April 03, 2012.
Twin Cities- Minn. In an unprecedented show of support the governor of Minnesota joined thousands of Minnesotans attending this year’s critical lobby day at the state Capitol. Governor Mark Dayton attended because he feels strongly about defeating the proposed constitutional ban on marriage for gays and lesbians.
The highly controversial marriage amendment is set to appear on the November ballot. The amendment would not only change the Minnesota constitution to define a marriage as between one man and one woman, but would also send a negative message to the youth in a state has been a hotbed for teen suicide. The negative anti-gay climate courtesy hallmark -rhetoric and religious extremism associated with its Rep. Michelle Bachmann.
Dayton, a Democrat, spoke Thursday at the Lobby Day Rally sponsored by Minnesota groups, OUTFRONT and ‘Minnesotans United for all Families.’ Senator Scott Dibble also gave a moving speech in front of the large crowd. (See Video Below)
Hundreds of Minnesotans showed for the event, notably from all walks of life, as part of a mobilizing effort to speak to representatives delivering two basic messages so succinctly stated by openly gay Senator Dibble: “Marriage is about love and commitment. We don’t use our constitution to limit the freedoms of others.”
An African American minister also stepped up to the podium saying that this marriage amendment should not divide the African American community.
With just seven months to the November ballot, the constitutional amendment that anti-gay proponents are attempting to pass is seen as the hottest political issue in this year’s Minnesota election.
Kristina Lapinski of ‘GAY U.S.A. the Movie’ was in Minnesota to film the day’s events. What struck Lapinski about the day was that so many straight allies showed up to support the defeat of the amendment, including the Democratic contender for Assembly in his district, Jeff Wilfahrt, father of fallen gay service member Corp. Andrew Wilfahrt.
After the rally, Lapinski walked the Capitol with Wilfahrt and noticed Minnesota Family Council‘s Tom Prichard there to push for the anti-gay amendment.
It was no surprise as Prichard is notorious for his attempts, via the Parents Action league, to hinder the efforts to improve the climate for LGBT students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, after a spate of LGBT student suicides there. “The real issue is “homosexual indoctrination, not anti-gay bullying,” he is noted for saying at the time. He spoke about students dying because they adopted an “unhealthy lifestyle,” specifically focusing his comments on the tragic suicide of 15-year-old Justin Aaberg which he stated was not due to anti-LGBT bullying. Prichard claimed at the time that “homosexual activists” are “manipulating” Justin’s death to get homosexual indoctrination programs into the school district. A recent settlement has forced the School District to make changes.
Prichard, who has his hands all over the Marriage Amendment, attempted to avoid Lapinski’s camera, at which point Wilfahrt yelled out: “Do you realize how many lives you are hurting?”
The chairman of the Democratic Party in Minnesota known as the DFL, Ken Martin, informed Lapinski that DFL now has a full equality platform and told her that so many were personally affected by this amendment, and had gay family members and friends. Martin described his need to step forward for equality, especially to show support as a grandson to a gay grandfather.
Mr. Martin related the importance of the amendment’s defeat also to the teen suicide problem in the Anoka-Hennepin School District, saying “What kind of a message does this send to our children if we are to enshrine discrimination into the Minnesota Constitution?”
The sponsors of the gay marriage ban, a group called “Minnesotans for Marriage,” believe that their efforts to persuade Minnesotans are “going very well,” and that they are ahead in every credible poll. The Group has just released a series of bait videos, under the guise of educational, on their website, depicting false notions about marriage equality through irrelevant associations. According to a poll taken by Public Policy Polling reported on Jan. 27, for example. 48 % of Minnesotans polled support the amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman, while 44 % oppose.
While the foes of equality try to amend the constitution, it’s not just a simple majority vote, but it will take a super majority, about a 60 percent “yes” vote to change the Constitution. If the measure passes it could be a decade before there is any chance of the Constitution being restored to its original state on the issue of same-gender marriage.
This can be defeated and it is so critical for equality activists not to make the mistake of resting on laurels, even given the higher percentage standard. The LGBT groups have started an aggressive campaign to fight its passage including fundraisers across the country and neighborhood door to door canvassing. It would seem that they have their work cut out for them in MN and so it is imperative that the all the United States equality supporters muster up cash and energy to assist the Minnesota community defeat what is already promising to be yet another false and ugly anti-gay campaign.
Governor Dayton has now joined the ranks of those who will make history as taking the helm on the critical issue of equality across the United States. Those who were part of the equality groups described the governor’s presence as uplifting, and the rally as motivating and very moving.
Video url vimeo.com/39611582
Article Written by Melanie Nathan;
Video and Picture of Governor Mark Dayton and Senator Scott Dibble
by Kristina Lapinski ©GAY U.S.A. the Movie, 2012, All rights reserved.
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