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.
There was a feeling of safety in Iowa that does not exist in Minnesota. In Iowa I didn't feel as if part of me was gearing up for an attack on my humanity, always watching for the dangers that accompany that.
I can feel myself getting more brittle as this anti-gay ballot initiative heats up in Minnesota. I find myself wanting to blurt out to virtual strangers, "Can you even imagine what it would be like to have your family's mere existence up for a vote?"
If this hurtful constitutional amendment passes, marriage will be forever denied to Jacob in the state of Minnesota. My parents, Helen and Lloyd Klefstad, dearly loved their grandson Jacob. They would want Jacob to find love with another man and be married.
Esta Stecher had about 50 guests over Monday night at her Park Avenue apartment in New York City for a fundraiser on behalf of Minnesotans United for All Families. That's the broad coalition of 230 organizations and leaders fighting this fall's marriage amendment in Minnesota.
Right now about 41 percent of Minnesotans hope we become the first state to successfully oppose something like this. That means we need to change the hearts and minds of another 10 percent of the population. It's March, and I have eight more months of pretty good reasons to go.
Minnesotans will be voting in the fall of 2012 on whether to ban marriage for same-sex couples in our state Constitution. I will be voting "no" -- against the amendment -- and I urge my friends and all Minnesota voters to do the same.