I don’t usually share very personal stories or events on here. I thought that this would be a good time to share with all my followers something that is important to me.
A few years ago my partner and I decided that we would wait to get married until it was legal in Minnesota for the LGBT community to marry as well. This is not something that we share with everyone or really anyone. In fact, at the last wedding I was at I was asked by a handful of people why my partner and I have not married yet. It is a common question since we have been dating over 6 years now. We say that we are just not ready yet.
While that is true, we are waiting until those of our friends who are gay are able to get be married as well. How thankful we are that we even get to choose when it is we want to marry. We discussed that it did not feel right to us to be married, while others do not get to make that choice.
To us marriage is a legal document that allows us specific inclusions under the law. Even though we are not married yet, does not mean we have a different relationship from other married couples. Like many of our LGBT friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors we have a committed relationship. Us, like many other committed unmarried couples are already living the, “until death do us part.” We believe that our relationship is no different from that of two men or two women; we are all entitled to the equal protection under the law.
When we finally do choose to get married we want to be able to have a celebration that we can invite all of our friends and family members to share the special day with us. It will be a day that reaffirms our relationship and creates a support system of people who share in the love that I have with my partner.
We also will then have the opportunity to use all of the protections that marriage gives us under the law.
It doesn’t seem right for us to invite our friends who do not get to make this choice to come and celebrate. They are not able to have the same protections that our marriage will have.
My hope is… that very soon this will change. Yesterday showed me that it is close. Soon my partner and I will not have to think about this as part of our decision to get married. Undoubtably, the discussion will then center around cost.
Even with this monumental change. It will not change the mind of everyone.
I know there are still opponents to gay marriage and people who are not supportive of LGBT people. They say because of their religious beliefs that they cannot support it. Well, until it is your child, your grandchild, your cousin, your best friend, your neighbor, your co-worker, your aunt, or your parent I doubt you will change your mind. But, when that does happen it is how you choose to react that will define you. Don’t look back and regret how you have treated another human being.
because it is time
As someone who used to work in a Minneapolis Public school this past friday’s events were profoundly disturbing. It was a reminder to me how random an act of violence can be.
My first thoughts were about my teacher-friends, people who have the gift of working with children and go into work each day trying to make a difference in each students life.
The one reassurance that I had was that my friends and their students would know what to do if an event like this would take place. Minneapolis Public Schools practices code red drills at least five times a year. Along with practicing these drills they speak with their students about why they need to pratice these drills.
When I remember back to doing these drills, the students, even the very young ones understood the importance of these drills. They hid and were quiet for up to 15 minutes at a time.
Anyone who has worked in a classroom knows how hard it can be to have silence in the room for more than 20 seconds. But, it is truly amazing how students understand how important these drills are to practice.
It is my hope that no one ever has to do what they have practiced in these drills, but it feels good to know they are prepared if something were to happen.
As many of you know in Minnesota we have the opportunity to vote on the Marriage Amendment. We also have to vote on the voter ID amendment which I will explain in another post.
These topics are important to me because I feel that people are confused about which box they should check. A few days ago I spoke with a person who told me that she had a conversation with a few close friends who did not understand what this whole Vote No or Vote Yes thing was. They knew how they felt about the issue, but do I vote yes, or no? And why am I voting on this?
I understand. It is complicated. The reason why you might not have had to vote on an amendment before is because our legislators are supposed to do that. We don’t usually vote on amendments to our constitution. But, below is a guide to help you choose what way you want to vote on the Marriage Amendment.
Afterwards, you need to get out there and talk to everyone you know. After reading this summary you can help them understand what it means to vote a certain way.
What exactly is an amendment to our constitution? Well, an amendment is a change. Those who want you to vote yes, want to change the constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Those who want you to Vote No, simply want to keep the constitution the way it is.
Well then are we going to have gay marriage? Do we have gay marriage now? No. So, by voting no you do not legalize gay marriage you only do not change the wording in the constitution.
So what are you saying… everything stays the same? Yes, it does. The only thing that would change is that we would be the first state to not let an amendment like this pass.
Why would people Vote Yes? Some people are voting yes because of religious reasons. They believe being gay is a sin. They want marriage to only be available legally between a man and a woman.
Others think that a family has to have opposite sex parents. They worry about the children growing up in an environment with two parents of the same-sex. And sometimes even having the model of the same-sex parents family is threatening to the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.
Others do not want same-sex couples to get the same protections under law such as filing taxes jointly because they are worried that it might be abused. That people may not be in a committed relationship and only are legally marrying for some type of gain.
Why would people Vote No? Firstly, many people who are voting no are religious, they just do not believe in changing the constitution. They think government is already big enough and does not need to regulate anything else. They also believe that the consitution is usually only changed to give people more freedom rather than limiting the freedom for one group of people.
Other religious people believe that they should be accepting and welcoming to all people. They do not believe their God would create a gay person and then condemn them. They believe that they are not the one who should judge.
Some believe that this is a step too far in mixing church with state. That in churches gay people should not be able to marry but that the government can choose how to define marriage outside of the church.
Secondly, they may be Voting No because they believe that people have the right to marry whomever they choose same-sex or opposite sex and have the same protection under the law. This means that you can file your taxes together, visit them in the hospital if they become ill, make medical decisions for their partner, and many other protections that married couples get.
Some young people are voting this way because they feel if they have a child in the future that is gay, they want to be on the side that did not prevent their child from being able to marry.
Thirdly, they may be Voting No because they feel that it is discrimination. Many equate it to interracial marriage or segregation.
What are some of the rumors from the debate? Some believe that this was a plot by the republicans to get Christians out to vote. But, this is just a rumor. We already have high voter rates and this rumor has been disputed by both sides.
What does mplsgossipgirl think? I am disclosing that I am firmly Voting No. There are many reasons why including those I listed. But, most importantly I have people in my life who are GLBTQ and they should have the same protections as I have under the law. Even though this amendment does not give my friends those protections it is a step in the right direction.
I also firmly believe that it is wrong for churches to tell their members how to vote and using their funds to influence the vote. I wish they would focus their funds on those who need help, the homeless, the needy, and those who need a hand.
But, I still believe that everyone should know the facts. That is why I put information in here on both sides of the issue.
If after reading this you still don’t know how you want to vote. I would go the MPR News site. HERE. They really do a good job of laying out the arguments impartially.
If you have another arguement that I did not list here. Please leave me a comment because I would love to hear what you think.
Otherwise if you now can help explain this to someone else, get out there, have a conversation and help someone understand their vote.
because voting is your civic duty.
If you have not heard, Minnesotans have the opportunity to vote for a constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage in Minnesota. This amendment defines marriage as between only a woman and a man. If you vote no, it does not mean that same sex couples will be allowed to marry it will just not allow this amendment not to pass and define the specific wording in the Constitution.
I am putting this out there as a conversation. So, that maybe someone in Minnesota will read this and think about how they want to vote on the amendment. I believe it is part of my civic duty to put myself out there and speak my truth.
For those of you who know me personally, you know exactly where I stand on this issue. Not only do I think that everyone should vote no on this amendment, I believe that Minnesota should allow same sex marriage.
Marriage to me is a lasting commitment shared between two people who love each other.
In the future, I want to be married in front of all those who love me, friends and family, and believe that anyone who wants to enter into this commitment should be allowed to do so. Marriage is a way to publicly say that this is the person that I want to spend my life with and is now part of my family.
I am someone who will not face the challenges that same sex couples face currently. When I decide to enter into marriage I will not have to worry if my employer allows my partner on my insurance coverage, I will not have to worry about having to pay lawyers fees to have my partner make medical decisions for me or if my partner needs to adopt my child/children, I will not have to fight to have my partner in the room with me when I have an emergency.
I do not want my friends, neighbors, family members, or anyone else have to struggle to have the same freedoms as I get to have without doing anything other then marrying a partner that is the opposite sex as I am.
because love is love, Vote No.
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving me a comment.
Last night I attended The Stir an event put on my the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.
It was a wonderful night filled with good advice, powerful women, and wine. The Women’s Foundation put on this event to raise money for their new campaign MN Girls are Not for Sale. Dealing with the prostitution of girls in Minnesota and eliminating prostitution in our state. This event showed that women can come together and stand-up against problems in our state.
Get involved. Donate.
Find out more information HERE.
Because women matter