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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More Back and Forth on OutFront Minnesota

From the comments:

Markh said...
I'd concur with DavidD....

The DFL rolled over very quickly on the municipal domestic partners legislation... nothing new there.

At the mere mention of a veto, we're thrown under the bus, rally or no rally. Make some actual demands of the politicians who grin and wave at us during the Pride Parade... and take our money.

With a solid majority in the Senate, and a near veto-proof majority in the House, this is not a year to be shy or timid. Put the bills up for a vote, and see what happens.

10:58 PM

Mark made an excellent point. To their credit, OutFront Minnesota's communications director stopped by again to respond.

Jo Marsicano said...
OutFront Minnesota is the leader in our state in lobbying our lawmakers on GLBT issues. We are the only GLBT organization lobbying full time while the legislature is in session every year. We've worked with lawmakers and candidates in the DFL, Republican, Green, and Independence parties. These relationships resulted in forward-moving bills being introduced, receiving bipartisan support, getting committee hearings, passing the floor, and going to the governor’s desk in each of the last two years. Some of the bills were vetoed and others didn’t make it to the governor’s desk. Some in our community are dissatisfied with these results and the tactics used, and we understand those sentiments. However, it is simply untrue that the lawmakers you refer to are “do nothing.” The lobbyist we worked with to advance positive bills in 2007, C. Scott Cooper, did an outstanding job as did our legislative allies, working closely with us to be able to consider – for the first time in years – legislation that moves our community forward rather than having to beat back the attack of the constitutional amendment. The process at the state capitol can seem slow, inefficient and unfair and we appreciate those who want more and who want it faster. We will continue to work closely with our allies, building and expanding on these relationships so that when we have a fair-minded governor, the legislation can actually become law.

Outfront Minnesota is conspictuous by their absence when articles, like the one on Minn Post are infested with bigoted comments like these:

On November 24, 2008, Jeff Kline says:
Absolutely no hate here. But ain't no way I will stand for someone who comes in and wants to trash things here by removing the defense of marriage act. Not going to happen. I don't believe this is an "over time" thing either. It has to do with a definition rooted in scripture which is what this country was and still is based on. To remove this separator is to then remove the constitution and many of us will not stand for it.
(#6) On November 24, 2008, Thomas Swift says:
I'll be on-board with the notion that two guys playing house = marriage the day after the USDA announces that sand is a food group and publishes a minimum recommended daily allowance.
(#7) On November 24, 2008, Rachel Munoz says:
The tactics of those that support homosexual marriage to obfuscate the issue through emotion will not get them what they want (calling those that oppose the effort hateful among other things). It doesn't matter what they do to try to "normalize" their behavior and gain respect and acceptance. It is abnormal behavior. If every person on the planet supported GLBT efforts and said it was okay it still would not be.

Doug Benson and his cohorts have started a small non-profit, to challenge the DOMA statute, on the basis that it was passed linked to a non-related bill.

On November 25, 2008, Doug Benson says:
Jack Baker and James McConnell did the right thing nearly forty years ago when they challenged marriage discrimination in Minnesota by taking the state to court. The ten couples of Marry Me Minnesota are doing the right thing now by following their lead. Please help support us in this effort.

Going to the Marry Me Minnesota website, one finds a simple, heartfelt website with a clear goal. The site states:

One aspect of Marry Me Minnesota's lawsuit against the state will be to challenge the state's DOMA law, which was passed in 1997. This law, among other things, prohibits the state from recognizing same-gender marriages obtained in other jurisdictions. Overturning this law would make it possible to have our out-of-state marriages recognized as legal here in Minnesota.

And, the DOMA law has a problem. It was passed by the legislature in the same manner that the state's recent "concealed carry" gun law was passed. That law was overturned by the Minnesota Supreme Court because of the manner in which the bill was passed.

Our law firm, Mansfield, Tanick and Cohen, is the law firm that brought that case against the concealed carry gun law and won. They will take their experience and expertise in winning that lawsuit and apply it to our case against the state's DOMA law.

This law should be thrown out of court for that reason. If the legislature wants to pass the law again, they should pass it on an up or down vote. Overturning DOMA would not allow for gay marriage, since the Baker decision would still stand.

Doug Benson also was a one person lobbyist, who was able to persuade several legislators, including Sen John Marty and Sen Linda Higgins to introduce a marriage equality bill in the Senate. The bill won't pass this year, but the way to get these things passed is to start getting the issue discussed openly in committees. As Vince Lombardi the famous football coach has said "the best defense is a good offense." It appears that Outfront Minnesota doesn't understand this concept.

Outfront Minnesota also makes no effort to go on "Christian" talk radio to counter the lies propogated by the Minnesota Family Council. Not all that audience is closed to hearing a different point of view.

As for the term “grow a pair,” OutFront Minnesota takes the position that sexism and misogyny are as big a problem as homophobia, and this phrase expresses a sentiment disrespectful to women, including lesbians and transgender women. We strive for our political discourse to be rigorous but we avoid unnecessary and hurtful terms such as this.

Thanks to Lloydletta’s Nooz for this forum to debate and discuss these issues.

Jo Marsicano
Communications Director
OutFront Minnesota

12:37 PM

Funny, I've yet to see Outfront Minnesota put out a press release about Al Franken's many offensive misogynist and anti-gay "jokes". How did you feel about Franken and his Saturday Night Live team discussing a skit that would show the drugging and raping of journalist Leslie Stahl? Or what about his joke about the murder of a gay man? This was widely publicized. Betty McCollum spoke up loudly about these issues. Outfront Minnesota was curiously silent. It seems a little selective to go after the term "grow a pair".

Markh said...
Why don't these great 'allies' hold their ground when bills go to conference committee?

Why don't we insist that gay questions be part of stand-alone bills, so we can get a clean vote?

When gay-friendly language is buried in some big omnibus bill, and the battle to get it signed fires up, the gay language is the first thing that is deleted. The DFL majority doesn't want to be blamed for major programs not getting funded... we're an easily discarded bargaining chip.

It happens over and over again.

You can't blame it all on a popular governor... the DFL could be told to hold some ground when it comes to the homos.

3:40 PM


I just got a newsletter from Outfront Minnesota touting their email newsletter redesign. That seems like a waste of time and money. I'd rather see them focusing on their mission, than on endless branding and re-branding efforts. Marry Minnesota's website is simple, homemade, and no frills. I think they are a good investment.


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