Here in Minnesota, and in most of the country, we hate awkward conversations and shy away from them. There are so many ravines we don't try to cross with each other, and this campaign has reawakened in me the understanding that after awkwardness comes relief.
The love my wife and I share has not been diminished by my gender transition. It's the same love we have always had for one another. Our marriage is no different from any other committed and loving relationship between two married people.
Of all the lies that anti-gay campaigns are airing to scare voters away from supporting marriage equality, the most absurd is the claim that marriage doesn't really matter -- or shouldn't matter -- for committed gay couples.
I've been awed by all the changes of heart that are taking place; I've witnessed it happen in conversations I've had, and my fellow activists have witnessed it in their own conversations. Here are three such conversations I've heard about just this week.
Gay and lesbian Americans have always been part of our communities. But over the course of the last generation, more and more of them have felt comfortable being truly honest about who they are. And, too slowly but very surely, it's changing our country for the better.
One of the anti-marriage-equality ads in Maine splashes these dire outcomes across the screen: "Fired. Sued. Fined. Punished." In it, a spokesman for Maine's 2009 campaign to repeal the freedom to marry, a school guidance counselor, claims, "They tried to get me fired."
We should be enormously proud of the fact that we as a nation have refused to let ourselves or our neighbors be perpetually hamstrung by the inadequate definitions of earlier generations. But it's a never-ending challenge.
Teen Intern says it's still worth making these calls, because every now and then, maybe every 20th conversation, a "yes" vote turns into a "no" vote. The universe is a mysterious place, and anything might yet happen here in this wonderful state I call home.
We often think of the effects of these elections in terms of whether or not marriage equality will expand to another state. What we don't consider (but we ought to) is the toll that these referendums can take on LGB people during the election season itself.
Minnesotans United for All Families says we need to have 200,000 conversations in October if we are to win, and that we broke a record by having 10,000 conversations recorded last week. So unless things ramp up amazingly fast, it appears that we are going to lose this thing. That upsets me.
As the rally drew to a close, the sky turned dark, the winds picked up, and an F2 tornado bulldozed a 5-mile-long path through Minneapolis, leading to the destruction of our home. From that point on, our life together as a couple would be challenged in every way imaginable.
I went back for another round of phone banking last night. Here's what I learned: People are really stressed and really busy. Given the level of stress everyone is walking around with, how do we crank up the urgency for civic involvement on this or any other of the urgent issues facing us?
I finally did phone banking. I'd been avoiding it the whole campaign, telling myself I would hate it. But I noticed in the trainings for talking to people you know that, consistently, the folks who had done phone banking were more skilled at the conversations.
Ultimately, to secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide, intervention by federal courts is necessary. But if our pleas are to be successfully heard by sympathetic judges, we must expand the patchwork of states recognizing same-sex marriage to the greatest degree possible.
The most basic act of voter education and persuasion as the anti-gay-marriage amendment approaches in Minnesota is to walk around in a T-shirt that says, "Vote No: Don't Limit the Freedom to Marry." Here are 10 pointers on how this shirt can have the greatest effect on voters.
When I break the news to people that, should Minnesota be the first state ever to defeat a constitutional amendment defining marriage as existing only between a man and a woman, marriage between two people of the same gender will still be completely illegal in Minnesota, they get confused.
I've agreed to be the "Vote No: Don't Limit the Freedom to Marry" yard sign distributor for my neighborhood. I'm doing this because it makes me feel safer to see the signs when I'm driving around. It helps me know where allies live, close by. It helps me remember that I'm not alone.
Right now in Minnesota, it's all about the State Fair! The first building my friend and I just had to rush into was the horticulture building. Who knew Seed Art would feature so many people opposing the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota?
I'm old. This hurts me, but it doesn't surprise me. I'll move on. But I have a 16-year-old kid who is giving her entire summer to fight this thing because she is so upset about what it will mean for her state's constitution to proclaim baldly that her family is not a family.
Minnesota's marriage amendment is very personal for me. My husband and I have rejoiced as our three oldest children have found love and married wonderful people. We want that same opportunity for our youngest son, Jacob, when he finds the man he wants by his side all his life.