Monday, May 16, 2011

At the Minnesota Capitol, Signs of the Times

This morning I gathered with over 600 Minnesotans at the State Capitol in St. Paul. Here we packed the halls and, with colorful signs and rousing chants, sent a clear message to legislators: Because we support marriage equality for all, we do not support the proposed Constitutional amendment banning civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Last week, on a vote of 38-27, the full Senate passed SF 1308, the bill that would place the proposed amendment on the 2012 ballot. The House Rules Committee announced this morning that it will take up the companion bill, HF 1613, this Wednesday. If it approves HF 1613, the full House of Representatives would be cleared to vote on the amendment as soon as Thursday.

A rally to oppose the amendment is planned for 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. this Wednesday, May 18, at the State Office Building (Room 10), 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul, Minnesota. Please join us if you can!

I found this morning's rally very heartening as it involved such a large and diverse group of people. Also, the signs that many folks carried were colorful and creative, and really brought home why so many feel compelled to speak out against the proposed marriage amendment.

In this post I'm really going to let those signs do the talking! They are, without doubt, "signs of the times"!

My hope and prayer is that our elected leaders and the people of Minnesota take to heart the message of these signs: the marriage amendment is discriminatory, mean-spirited and wrong. It has no place in our Constitution.

Above: I thought this young man's sign was very clever. Doctor Who fans will recognize the reference to the Daleks and their trademark catchphrase, "Exterminate! Exterminate! . . ."

Above: Ralph holds a sign that makes reference to a recent Star Tribune poll that shows 55 percent of Minnesotans oppose amending the Constitution so as to ban civil marriage for same-sex couples.

Above: This young woman's sign references Harry Potter's wizard mentor Albus Dumbledore. In October 2007, when speaking at New York's Carnegie Hall, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling announced that she "always thought of Dumbledore as gay." Her statement was met with an ovation from the audience. "If I'd known it would make you so happy," she said, "I would have announced it years ago!" Entertainment Weekly's Mark Harris later noted that Rowley's "choice to make a beloved professor-mentor gay in a world where gay teachers are still routinely slandered as malign influences was, I am certain, no accident."

Above: Tim is holding a photograph of his family. He told me that although he is no longer a "card carrying Catholic," the official Archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, is still delivered to his home. In the latest issue, no less than four articles urge Catholics to support the marriage amendment. This compelled Tim to turn up at the Capitol today and participate in the rally opposing the amendment.

Right: With my friend Linda.

Above: Yes, this is what it's really all about: Choosing love!

For Minnesota Public Radio's coverage of today's rally, click here.

For The Minnesota Independent's coverage, click here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
David Booth on What It Might Mean to "Let the People Decide" on the Marriage Amendment
The Real Losers at the MN State Capitol Today
Opposition to the Marriage Amendment Grows
Catholic Attitudes on Gay and Lesbian Issues: An Overview
Tips on Speaking as a Catholic in Support of Marriage Equality
Winona Daily News Calls Proposed Marriage Amendment "Bigoted" and "Malicious"
Law Professor: Marriage Amendment is Divisive and Mean-Spirited
Rep. Steve Simon on Gay Marriage and the Arc of History
Disappointing, But Not Unexpected: "Marriage Amendment" Bill Passes MN Senate Judiciary Committee
Governor Mark Dayton to LGBT Advocates: "I Stand with You"
A Celebration of Faith and Family; A Call for Compassion and Fairness
Quote of the Day – November 4, 2010
A Message for NOM (and the Catholic Hierarchy
Minnesotans Rally for Equality and Love
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
Archbishop Nienstedt Calls (Again) for a Marriage Amendment to Minnesota's Constitution
A Catholic Statement of Support for Same-Sex Marriage

Recommended Off-site Links:
Cottage Grove Lawmakers Question Same-Sex Marriage Amendment's Effect, Timing – Scott Wente (South Washington County Bulletin, May 16, 2011).
Most U.S. Catholics Back Civil Marriage for Gays – Lou Chibbaro Jr. (The Washington Blade, March 31, 2011).
Catholics More Supportive of Gay Rights Than General Public, Other Christians – Michael Sean Winters (National Catholic Reporter, March 22, 2011 – via The Progressive Catholic Voice).
U.S. Catholics Break with Church Hierarchy on Gay Relationships – Cathy Lynn Grossman (USA Today, March 23, 2011).
Banning Gay Marriage Would Institutionalize Injustice – Gary Boelhower (
Duluth News Tribune, May 1, 2011).

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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