When it comes to economic development, it is not unusual for some chief executives of states to sneak across a border or two to try to poach some jobs. The usual pitch, however, involves tax breaks, available land and a well-trained workforce.
But Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is counting on love to make a difference.
As part of his “I Want to Marry You in Minneapolis” tour, Rybak on Thursday went to a predominantly gay neighborhood in Chicago to remind people that they can visit their nearby neighbor of Minnesota for a while, or at least long enough to marry, because same-sex marriage has been legal since Aug. 1.
Illinois does not allow same-sex marriages, and nor do the other states, Colorado and Wisconsin, that the mayor plans on visiting soon to drum up business.
“Chicago is my kind of town, but it’s a second city in human rights, and right now that gives a tremendous competitive advantage to Minneapolis,” Rybak said.
via Minneapolis mayor courts Chicago’s gay couples to marry in his city – latimes.com.
Minnesota and Rhode Island became the 12th and 13th states to recognize gay marriage Thursday, with Rhode Island’s first same-sex weddings performed this morning and Minnesota’s just after midnight:
Dozens of Minnesota gay couples made last-minute preparations Wednesday for midnight marriages, determined to exchange vows at the earliest possible moment under a new state law legalizing same-sex marriage.
Weddings were scheduled to start at the stroke of midnight at Minneapolis City Hall, St. Paul’s Como Park, Mall of America’s Chapel of Love and at county courthouses sprinkled around the state. One group planned a cluster of weddings in a Duluth tavern.
“It feels historic. It’s an honor to be a part of it,” said Tim Roberts, the Stearns County court administrator, who planned to perform a 12:01 a.m. wedding at the courthouse in St. Cloud. . . .
via Same-sex marriages begin in Minnesota, Rhode Island – Washington Post.
Three of the first same-sex couples who will legally marry in Minnesota on August 1st visited the Betty Crocker Kitchensat General Mills Headquarters in Golden Valley, Minnesota to taste-test wedding cakes for their ceremonies. The company has kindly donated the cakes to the couples for their celebrations, which will take place this Thursday at midnight. The couples will be wed at Minneapolis City Hall and the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul.
via Betty Crocker toasts marriage equality with wedding cake tasting | San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.
On Wednesday at midnight, when legal same-sex marriage goes into effect in Minnesota, we should start the celebration of us doing our part to help save the democracy called the United States.
It was just over a year ago that a small group of Minnesotans decided to fight extreme odds by opposing two proposed constitutional amendments. The first was a Jim Crow law with lipstick on it called voter ID. The second was a constitutional amendment to virtually eliminate any opportunity for Minnesotans of the same sex to ever be married.
Both constitutional amendments were brought forward by people of fundamentalist religious groups seeking to control how all of us practice our religion in our homes and places of worship. The book, “His Excellency: George Washington,” stated that our first president felt the biggest threat to the new democracy was fundamentalist religious groups. That being said, nobody wants to restrict their right to practice their religion in their homes and places of worship. The moment that happens is a threat to how the United States was formed and on what it is based.
A Duluth psychiatrist I know works with young people questioning their sexuality. He told me every time these young people saw a “vote no” sign, in opposition to the amendment against same-sex marriage, they saw there was one more person out there who believed in them.
I believe Minnesota’s demonstration of support has saved lives at a time when suicide is epidemic among our youth. I also believe the number of children thrown out of their homes and becoming homeless just because they told their parents they were gay can now go down
via Local view: Same-sex marriage law heralds a great day for Minnesota | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.
Six months after Maryland, Maine and Washington voters endorsed same-sex marriage at the ballot box, two more states have adopted laws allowing gay couples to marry, and a third is poised to join them. On Tuesday, lawmakers in Delaware adopted a same-sex marriage law, and Minnesota’s House of Representatives passed a marriage equality measure there today, setting up a final vote in the Senate on Monday. Last week the Rhode Island legislature adopted a similar measure. That three states have moved to legalize gay marriage over the span of less than a month shows how quickly public attitudes toward same-sex unions are changing. Still, more progress may be difficult until more Republicans start to see the issue as one of civil rights, equal protection under the law and individual liberty.
Polls show that nearly 60 percent of Americans now believe gay marriage should be legal, up from less than 40 percent only a decade ago. Among young people, about 8 in 10 think gay couples should be allowed to marry, a trend that clearly favors wider acceptance of such unions in the future. The evolution of public opinion on same-sex marriage is in line with a broader movement toward recognition of gay rights that has manifested itself over the last year in spheres as varied as the Boy Scouts, professional sports teams and the military.
The Supreme Court is currently considering two cases related to same-sex marriage, one that could establish it as a right under the Constitution and another that could overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages. During oral arguments, the justices signaled varying degrees of discomfort with making a sweeping ruling in either case, but as the political battle over rights for gays tilts toward equality in state after state, such caution appears increasingly out of touch.
Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-gay-marriage-20130512,0,126562.story#ixzz2SzIe3fmF
via Delaware and Rhode Island legalize gay marriage; Minnesota set to follow by Saturday – baltimoresun.com.
Four years ago this week, Connecticut became the second state to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. Since then, four states — plus the District of Columbia — have joined Connecticut and Massachusetts in ending marriage discrimination.
In the last four years, the momentum was palpable. But nothing provided quite the same jolt to the national consciousness and sense of momentum as last week’s Election Day. Marriage equality was on the ballot in four additional states and won.
With that four-state sweep in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, the opponents of marriage equality lost their final talking point, putting to rest the last desperate argument that victories in courts and legislatures somehow are not legitimate and that only a vote of the people counts.
via Voters boost marriage equality movement – Courant.com.
Three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — became the first to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote, and the national trend toward full implementation of same-sex marriage continues and, in fact, is likely to pick up momentum.
That is good for the country. We do not progress by relegating any segment of society to second-class status. We should celebrate with our gay and lesbian friends when they enter into committed relationships, just as we celebrate with our heterosexual friends when they get married.
More people are understanding that marriage is a civil contract with the government giving a couple a series of specific rights under the law. There is no legal reason two consenting adults should be prohibited from entering into such a contract, regardless of gender.
And the marriage of my gay friends certainly does not threaten my 33-year marriage to my wife Veronica.
This can be a religious issue, and that’s understandable.
But churches forever have decided which marriages they would bless or deny. My wife and I were married in a Baptist church, but we would not have been able to have, say, a Catholic wedding or a Mormon wedding. Just as those denominations have a right to refuse to bless marriages of same-sex partners, they also have a right to refuse to bless marriages of those who aren’t members of their congregations (many other denominations follow the same practice; these are only examples).
via Same-sex marriage wins big on Tuesday, as the march toward equality continues (Joey Kennedy) | al.com.
Americans for the first time approved gay marriage at the ballot box on Tuesday, pointing to changing attitudes on the divisive issue.
In Maine and Maryland, voters approved ballot initiatives to begin allowing same-sex unions. Those wins mark a first for a cause that previously had been rejected by voters in more than 30 states, including as recently as 2009 in Maine.
And in Minnesota, where gay marriage already isn’t allowed, voters declined to back an initiative that would have enshrined in the state’s constitution a definition of marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.
In Washington state, where voters also weighed an initiative to legalize gay marriage, the vote count was expected to stretch for days. With about half of the precincts counted nearly 52% of voters supported the idea.
In Maine, campaigners for same-sex marriage said the win marked a turning point for their cause.
via Gay Marriage Makes Gains in States – WSJ.com.
“It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days,” Pitt wrote in an email sent to HRC members and posted on the HRC website. “In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples—our friends and neighbors—are worthy of the same protections as everyone else. But that’s the system we have and I’m not going to back down from the fight of loving and committed couples to have the ability to marry.”
via Brad Pitt Donates 100000 To Marriage Equality Campaign | E! Online.
Recently I visited Minnesota to meet folks involved in the same-sex marriage debate. I was inspired by the amount of energy that people were devoting to the cause, and to emphasizing dialogue and conversation instead of shouting and slogans.
One thing we’ve learned is that a lot of Minnesotans (and Marylanders, Washingtonians and Mainers) are sincere in supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians and simultaneously sincere in their misgivings about same-sex marriage. Yes, there are absolutely-sure people on both sides, but there are also a lot of people sincerely in the middle. If you’re one of those people, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned as someone involved in this issue for several years now — and as someone who married my same-sex partner in New York a year ago.
First, I want to say that I get it. I know many people in the gay community who say that if you don’t support marriage equality, then you must be a bigot or a homophobe, but I know that that isn’t true. I know plenty of people who are sincerely concerned about the consequences of same-sex marriage for their communities and their values — and some of them are my friends. So this is not about bashing people who disagree. (Of course, it’s also true that there are some bigots and homophobes out there, too. But I’m not really speaking to them, because they’re not interested in what I have to say anyway!)
To those sincerely wrestling with this issue, I offer four points to consider.
Jay Michaelson: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage: 4 Points for Undecided Voters to Consider.