Monday, February 22, 2010

Have Message, Will Be at Capitol!

Well, that didn’t take as long as I thought!

Indeed, I managed to get my hands on the placard I was looking for within a few minutes.

It was where I thought it would be: with a whole bunch of others, gathering dust under the bed in the spare room.

I went looking for this particular sign (one that was originally created for this event) as I thought its message would be a good one to take to the Minnesota State Capitol tomorrow afternoon. You see, a rather significant event is taking place there: the first ever scheduled hearing by the Minnesota House on legislation to extend marriage equality to gay and lesbian Minnesotans!

Andy Birkey does his usual excellent job in explaining the particulars of this hearing in the February 18 article from reprinted below. But before we get to that, let me explain why I feel compelled to carry the above sign at the State Capitol tomorrow.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the clerical leadership of the Roman Catholic Church expends a lot of money and energy discrediting and undermining efforts taking place in the civil arena to give gay and lesbian couples civil marry rights.

Yet it’s important to remember what theologian Mary Hunt says:

. . . [A]n increasing number of Catholics completely reject [the clerical leadership’s] view [on homosexuality] and support same-sex couples and families. It is important to underscore that what is touted as “the” Catholic position by the hierarchy is but one among differing Catholic theologies of sexuality. Note to lawmakers: The hierarchy does not speak for the members on this and each member is a voter.

I can’t think of a better way to let the lawmakers at the State Capitol know that the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church does not speak for me on this issue than to be present tomorrow with my sign - one that clearly conveys to them and others the message that “I'm a Catholic who supports equal civil marriage rights for all!”

Why don’t you join me if you can! Andy’s article below has the details of where and when.


“Historic” Hearing on Same-Sex Marriage in Minnesota

By Andy Birkey
February 18, 2010

The House Civil Justice Committee will be the first in Minnesota’s history to conduct a hearing on the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Three bills will be up for discussion on Monday, and all three are supportive of expanded relationship rights for Minnesota’s same-sex couples.

The Marriage and Family Protection Act would make marriages in Minnesota gender neutral, a civil unions bill is also being proposed and another bill would recognize same-sex marriage performed in states where it is legal, such as neighboring Iowa.

“The hearing will be historic because it is the first time a committee in our state Legislature will be looking at what enacting marriage equality means for Minnesota,” said OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT equality group.

The hearing will be held at 4:30pm on Monday, February 22 in State Office Building Room 10.

Outfront says, “supporters of marriage equality will speak about what it would be like if our state no longer explicitly barred same-sex couples from legal protections, Legislators will hear from experts and their constituents that discrimination against people because of who they love or who they are is wrong.”

But not everyone in in the LGBT community pleased about the hearing. Citizen activist Doug Benson who secured legislative support for the Marriage and Family Protection Act called it a “show hearing” because there will be no vote taken on the bills so they won’t advance out of committee.

“There won’t be a vote on our bill because one of the bill’s likely yes votes left the committee for reasons I am not aware of,” he said. “It’s basically a show hearing to shut us up.”

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Catholic Voice for Marriage Equality at the State Capitol
Sen. John Marty on Marriage Equality in MN: “We Can Make It Happen”
America’s New Civil Rights Battle
Steve Chapman: “Time is On the Side of Gay Marriage”
Dr. Erik Steele and the “Naked Truth on Same-Sex Marriage”
The Same People
An Ironic Truth
A Christian Case for Same-Sex Marriage


Terence Weldon said...

My thoughts and prayers will be with you, Michael at this important event. The religious right have been so successful at dominating the press coverage on religion and marriage equality, that they completely obscure the true facts: most Catholics, in the US and elsewhere,support civil unions or full marriage equality for same sex couples; and most Catholics do not see homosexual relationships as morally wrong , no matter what the bishops might say.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Thanks, Terence!

Great article, by the way, over at The Open Tabernacle about Mary MacKillop! Thanks for that.



Mareczku said...

You go, Michael. And Terence, thanks for your words here. I need to hear this.

God bless - Mark