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Monday, February 23, 2009

Bobby Champion on the Marriage Equality Bill

I wrote Bobby Champion requesting clarification of his position. He wrote back stating that his impression was that gay groups were divided on this bill. This is odd because Outfront Minnesota includes the bill on their legislative agenda, and after Del Jenkins from Stonewall DFL posted on their facebook page, Project 515 stated they were taking no position on the marriage equality bill:

Del Jenkins (Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN) wrote
at 9:58am
Is Project 515 asking legislators to oppose the Freedom to Marry bill? If so, why could this possibly be?

Del Jenkins
Chair, Stonewall DFL

Laura Smidzik (Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN) wrote
at 1:06pm
No. While Project 515 is not actively promoting marriage as the solution to equality for same-sex couples, we also are not working against the important work other GLBT organizations and advocates are doing.

Project 515 believes now is the time to talk about the discrimination families face from Minnesota’s current laws and begin to erase that discrimination. We are asking legislators to support three pieces of legislation we have put forth this session (go to to learn more). We believe we will be most successful through an incremental approach to legal change.

Unfortunately, Minnesota law jeopardizes even the most basic decisions that same-sex couples and families face every day.

While Minnesotans are divided on the question of how to achieve relationship equality, most Minnesotans agree that state laws should treat all people fairly. As a result, we have an opportunity today to correct specific instances of discrimination.

So who from the GLBT community, claiming to be representing the community is telling legislators to oppose this bill, and why won't they have the courage to be public about their position?


Holly Cairns said...

Okay, I'm confused too. I don't hear a unified voice from the gay community, either. Will that impact bill action? What is going on...

I see there's house 0893

I see the Senate has sent SF 120 to judiciary which means what?

and the house added a new author Slocum to #999

For many of these bills to pass, do you need someone to talk about the sanctity of marriage and how clarification about civil unions would help curb discrimination? Or what do you think, Eva?

lloydletta said...

Actually Holly, there's been impressive grass roots action from the gay community on the marriage equality bill - this is despite not having an organization with funds behind it being the promoter of the bill.

The interesting story is that possibly other gay orgs are quietly trying to undermine the marriage bill, but when called on it deny it. Stories have come from several legislators about this.

Having the bill heard in Judiciary is the first step. I don't anticipate the bill will pass this year, but I'd like to see a vote on the floor. That will help determin where we are, and where we need to go in the future.

Holly Cairns said...

I see.

Defeated before it hits the floor?

Okay then.