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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

OutFront Minnesota on Project 515

From the OutFront Minnesota ENews:

Project 515

In its current issue, Lavender magazine features a new organization called Project 515 whose focus is the estimated 515 Minnesota statutes that discriminate against same-sex couples by providing benefits to those who are married. Additionally, the Star-Tribune featured a guest editorial discussing some of those statutes.

What the newsletter doesn't mention is the author of the column is John Sullivan, corporate secretary at Imation, and a major donor and player in the Human Rights Campaign. The Board of Directors includes some heavy hitters in the gay community including Laura Smidzik, former ED of Rainbow Families.

OFM continues:
OutFront Minnesota welcomes the additional attention Project 515 will bring to the legal issues and obstacles same-sex couples in Minnesota face. We appreciate Project 515's acknowledgement in its report on these statutes of OutFront Minnesota's earlier work in this area.

The challenge facing those who advocate for full GLBT equality in Minnesota is daunting: public opinion is against permitting same-sex couples to marry, but open to finding other ways to address the current shortcomings of the law. OutFront Minnesota welcomes new voices and resources to this conversation, which has been going on for several years - and which will likely continue for many more. OutFront Minnesota is proud of its successful work beginning in 2004 to keep anti-marriage amendments off Minnesota's ballot - a largely "defense" effort. This past year, OutFront Minnesota worked to pass legislation to expand rights for same-sex couples. Despite the nearly 60 legislators from around the state who signed on as co-sponsors of the pro-GLBT legislation, the bills were derailed by Governor Pawlenty. We look forward to continuing our work with Project 515 to shift the discussion to advancing more proactive measures that will lead Minnesota toward GLBT equality.

The bills were pulled by DFL legislators. Governor Pawlenty made a veto threat, but wasn't forced to act on it. Margaret Anderson Kelliher couldn't throw the gay community under the bus fast enough.

OutFront Minnesota will also continue to work for strong public policies to address issues concerning discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and elsewhere, school-related issues, protections for transgender people, anti-violence work and more.