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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

A Bit of Hoopla Followed By Life As It Should Be

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 08/01/13 19:49, Edited: 08/01/13 19:51

by Dave Mindeman

There were a lot of very happy people in Minnesota yesterday. Marriages that were a long time coming, finally happened.

I know there was a lot of publicity and news coverage because of the change in Minnesota law.

But maybe now we can get back to the real idea of marriage. The celebration of two people with their families. No newspaper coverage but a lifetime of memories for those involved. That is a wedding.

Which is the reason I cannot fathom why the Minnesota Family Council and the misnamed, Minnesotans for Marriage, will continue to battle against same-sex marriage.

For what purpose?

I am certainly aware that a significant portion of Minnesota, especially rural Minnesota, do not like the idea of gay couples getting married. A lot of it is religious....some of it derives from it being different.

The bottom line is nobody is expecting people to alter their religious views. Your opinion doesn't have to change. But why stop two persons happiness because you are unwilling to accept something different?

Where does that fit into the scheme of importance? It is certainly not a matter of national security. Wouldn't seem to be interfering in other people's lives. No one is getting hurt. No one is going hungry. No one is losing property. No one is suffering financially (except for the spouses - weddings are pretty expensive....).

The only thing happening here, in reality, is that two people who love each other are making that love a committment.

Why would anyone object to that? In this age of divorces and spousal abuse and custody fights.....why in the world would we be upset that a loving relationship gets affirmed?

I understand the hoopla surrounding August 1st. The attention and coverage is well deserved. But I think the best part of all this is how future weddings will just become part of the normal fabric of our lives. A bit of joy for the couple involved....and life and contentment as usual for the rest of us.

Congratulations to all of you.
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Tom Emmer Weighs In On The Gay Marriage Legislation

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 05/10/13 15:04, Edited: 05/10/13 15:06

by Dave Mindeman

Good old Tom Emmer has decided to weigh in on gay marriage via the Davis & Emmer Newstalk Blog and cross posted at True North.

And as usually is the case, his title asks the absolute wrong question....


I have to question Emmer's basic understanding of the issue if he really thinks that is the question. We do NOT need a law FOR homosexual marriage, we need to get rid of laws that PROHIBIT homosexual marriage.

There is a big difference....a fundamental difference.

In 2012 a Constitutional amendment was defeated which would have taken current law and enshrined it into our state's founding document. And the actions taken this week will hopefully end the law that told a minority of our citizens - you cannot be married.

Emmer has a convulted idea of where the discrimination lies. He says it this way...

Again, if you really believe you are fighting against discrimination, then why propose a law that will enhance the very discrimination against which you claim to be fighting? Wouldn't it make more sense to propose the state get out of the business of defining a legal "marriage" in the first place?

Gay couples did not ask anyone to define marriage in a way that excludes them. Politicians like Emmer decided to do that. The courts began to wonder aloud as to why states did that as well. And in Massachusetts and Iowa, they said NO, you can't do that.

But Emmer uses another distorted argument...

There is another question: If the legislative advocates for homosexual marriage pass and the Governor signs their proposed law redefining ?marriage,? how will they protect and respect the rights of those who believe homosexual marriage is wrong? Will they respect their neighbors' beliefs? Will they respect the right of others to pass their beliefs about right and wrong on to their children?

If you believe that homosexual marriage is wrong, what, exactly do you need protection from? Your beliefs won't be infringed upon unless you act upon them to harm others. If the tables are supposedly being turned and that now gay couples should be "respecting" their heterosexual counterparts, let us hope they do not use the example of respect that has been shown to them in the recent past.

Emmer ends with some words of advice...

...while you may have the right to live your life as you see fit, you will never have the right ? even if you put it in law ? to deny others the right to teach our kids to love thy neighbor but, at the same time, that marriage is and always will be a relationship between one woman and one man intended to carry on a moral, healthy and productive society.

Where Tom Emmer gets the idea that anyone is going to "force" some unwanted teachings on heterosexual families is a bit beyond comprehension. Frankly, Emmer and his colleagues are so busy trying to keep gay relationships hidden in dark corners that an argument could be made that they are denying gay couples their rights to be heard.

The suggestion that somehow we are going to have some kind of reverse discrimination backlash is just another distortion that weaves its way through the marriage arguments.

Relax, Tom, the sky will not fall. Really, it won't.
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Historic MN House Vote Is In The Books

Category: Gay Rights
Posted: 05/09/13 19:00, Edited: 05/09/13 19:00

by Dave Mindeman

This has been an interesting journey.

I looked it up and the first time I blogged about gay marriage was 4 years ago - 2009. That seems like a lifetime ago....but in other ways like yesterday.

The pendulum has been swinging steadily and today the Minnesota House passed the Gay Marriage bill in a 75-59 vote.

We still have a Senate vote to work through and a signature from Gov. Dayton....but it all seems like a formality right now.

In a way, we can thank the Republican legislature of the last biennium for all of this....really, I mean it.

If they had not set the wheels in motion to bring that Constitutional Amendment to the 2012 ballot, how would this conversation have accelerated to this extent?

In what we thought to be a pretty cynical political move to get out the "base", the Republicans awoke a sleeping giant. A unique call to action was in order and it changed the conversation in the state.

The national trends were part of the pressure as well. We saw a President who decided to get focused on the issue. We saw Senators move to a more public and positve position. We have seen churches move, employers move, and some of our most basic institutions move.

There are still some basic and deep objections to any change in who can participate in marriage....but in the end, this process seems to be driven by the basic principle of fairness. That is what moves all of this.

I hope that a year from now this conversation will be old news. That we can get beyond the sharp divide and get back to live and let live.

Let the progress continue.
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