Pssst: Not All Catholics Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

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Another sign of the times we’d like to see as we spend the month of June salmon fishing in Owatanna. More information at Catholics for Marriage Equality-MN.

NOM’s Thomas Peters: “It’s Not the Business of Corporations to Define Marriage.” We Minnesotans Disagree

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Johnny Benson photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

They Had to Go to Toronto to Do It, But Rabbi Michael and Michael Got Hitched

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EXTRA! EXTRA! June 5 Poll Shows MN Marriage Amendment Support Sinking; Independents Voting No

Independent pollsters Public Policy Polling has new poll results showing support for the Marriage Amendment sinking among Minnesota Independents. Republicans and Democrats are almost equally divided by wide margins. But Independents polled by PPP now oppose the amendment 54% to 37%.

I noticed that Minnesotans aged 45 and under oppose the amendment 60% to 37%, which makes me think just how important it’s going to be to get them to the ballot box this November.

I also can’t help but think the ad wars are just beginning. The fight will be expensive, and I hope you’ll consider giving, again, to Minnesotans United for All Families.

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Voices of Active Duty Military in Support of Gay Marriage

Say what you will about the Minnesota Marriage Amendment: I haven’t heard many voices the last 20 years against members of the military, straight or gay, who’ve risked their lives or died fighting America’s wars. 

If you’ve been to an airport the last 10 years you’ve likely been moved by homecomings of deployed troops greeting their families. Call me a sexist, but there’s something especially touching about moms returning home to their children after serving abroad in a war zone.

What Americans don’t feel for the folks in the military and their families, whether straight or gay?

So my thanks to Jeff Wilfahrt, legislative candidate from Rosemount, and father of the late Corporal Andrew Wilhfahrt, for introducing me to Outserve Magazine

If you’ve got someone active-duty or a veteran in your family who’s undecided on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, please have them read the articles in Outserve.  Here’s excerpts from a pair of many well-written articles about our military members and their families: 

From “Faces of Our Families,” by David Small (p. 25):

Gay and lesbian families proudly support  their military partners, fathers and mothers today without federal recognition of the social contracts. No matter people’s religion or moral beliefs, these are real families because they support one another have chosen to support one another and have chosen to support their service member’s call to duty. It’s time for the United States to recognize their sacrifice too.

From “Gay, Married and Deployed: Jipe and Thom’s Story” (p. 41), by Sergeant First Class Jipe DeKoe, currently deployed to Badghis Province, Afghanistan, and married to Thomas Kostura in East Hampton, NY:

My greatest fear is something bad happing to Thom while I’m deployed. Unlike my fellow (read: straight) married service members, I can’t expect to be granted emergency leave to go be with him. He cannot be added to my health care, receive married Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) or access any military base.

I am proud to be a U.S. soldier. I am proud of my husband and his decision to face these challenges with me, especially while I’m deployed. The past year has strengthened my faith in the military and the support it provides families.  Thom and I both understand that we have a long fight ahead before we receive equal treatment as a couple, but we are proud to be at the tip of the spear.

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Photo courtesy Wikimedia.org.

 

Why This Father’s Day I May Just Send My Kids to JCPenney to Buy My Whitey-Tighties

Speaking of the Minnesota Marriage Amendment: As someone who buys one or two articles of clothing a year, I’m a clothes merchant’s nightmare. My son quit going shopping with me years ago because I spend my time complaining about the goofy crap they sell. And did you see the Christmas sales at Toys ‘R’ Us last July for stuff for Christmas 2013? I know it’s never too early, but really?

Still, a guy does need his new whitey-tighties every few years. For the latest fashions I like to stroll the stylish aisles of Costco. The men’s undergarment department is conveniently located across the aisle from the Edward Casket or 440-roll pack of Viva paper towels. Unfortunately, the undies at Costco come in packages of 18 dozen, and we’re short on storage space at our house. 

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Well, listen up, JCPenney: You have my gotkes business now.

The department store chain has responded to the hapless Million Mom boycott for hiring that admitted homo-thespian Ellen DeGenerate with a new Father’s Day ad featuring—get this—a pair of dads playing with their kids.

Their own kids. As in, a couple playing with their kids.

Here’s what the ad copy says:

First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.

Shocking, right? Next thing you know, they’ll have TV commercials featuring—and I’m not making this up—real live African Americans selling stuff. 

 

Still: Why on Earth, Ms. Kersten, Would You Deny God’s Love to Two Loving People?

Katherine Kersten published another diatribe in today’s StarTribune against the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. The piece scored high on the Official Marriage Amendment Bingo Card.   In essence, Kersten argued, if we allow gay marriage, it will lead to marriages between three people, etc., etc. 

And, she wrote, “Children will suffer.” 

I attended my pal Laurel’s lovely June wedding yesterday to her lovely pal Charlie, in lovely Como Park. Yes, each is decidedly heterosexual. Each was previously married, her to the father of her two children and The Wrong Guy in Just So Many Ways, and Charlie to a woman whom he loved but who left him a widower and father of two children.

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Charlie is a St. Paul cop, a guy with pretty much the hardest job in Minnesota. At times his job is to pick up the pieces—literally—at a crime scene.

Sometimes the pieces are St. Paul kids.

Thank God he has Laurel’s shoulder to cry on at night. Literally.

If you are 100% opposed to anyone getting divorced, that’s your prerogative. You have biblical support:

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32).

Still, half the population disagrees with you at a rather personal level. 

As far as Charlie goes, though, “a marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed” (Deut 22:13-21). 

All of which is beside the point, Ms. Kersten. 

Write what you will, but why on earth would you withhold God’s love on two good people and their children when the couple is so madly in love with each other—just because they are not heterosexual like Laurel and Charlie?

How would the children suffer?

At long last, Ms. Kersten: Have you no decency?

Footnote: The huge crowd who attended a fundraiser for Minnesotans United at Congregation Shir Tikvah in Minneapolis last night disagrees with you, too, Katherine. 

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Brother Richard of Minnesotans United for All Families addresses a packed house at Congregation Shir Tikvah in Minneapolis last night. 

In Landslide Vote, Conservative Jewish Group Goes on Record in Support of Same-Sex Marriage

Gut Shabbos, Minnesota! It looks like the Conservative Jewish Movement has joined the traditionally more liberal Reform Movement and is now officially sanctioning same-sex marriage.

Amichai Lau-Lavi yesterday offered an analysis* of the vote on the responsum, or written decision, by the Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards of the Conservative Movement at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Thirteen rabbis were in favor, and one abstained.

Back in February the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, made up of 35 Conservative and Reform rabbis and 15 synagogues and groups, signed a statement in opposition to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. 

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*An “analysis” for us Jews means Mr. Lau-Levi posed several thoughtful questions about how best to interpret the responsum. 

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Congregants outside of Tifereth B’nai Jacob Synagogue in North Minneapolis dance in reaction to the decision by the CJLS to support gay marriage ceremonies.

Photo courtesy Jewish Historical Society of Minnesota at Creative Commons.

 

EXTRA! EXTRA! DoMA Ruled Unconstitutional by U.S. Court of Appeals

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled today that the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) is unconstitutional because it discriminates against gay couples.

Hey, no shit.

I just had a flashback to a backyard fundraiser for Paul Wellstone about 10 years ago over at some friends’ house in Mendota Heights. This was during his re-election campaign, a few months before he died in the plane crash in Eveleth. Like half of Minnesota, I had known Paul on a first-name basis for about 20 years, since before he ran for and lost the election for state auditor.

He asked for hardball questions at the fundraiser, memorable also because some uninvited kid with a video camera and pimples was there filming the event on the behalf of the senator’s Republican opponent’s campaign. 

Anyway, I remember Wellstone saying at the time—pretty much not for public consumption—that he flat-out blew it by voting for the Defense of Marriage Act.

Well, I just did some digging and saw this from the obituary in the Progressive magazine, which quoted Wellstone in his autobiography The Conscience of a Liberal:

What troubles me is that I may not have cast the right vote on DOMA. I might have rationalized my vote by making myself believe that my honest position was opposition. This vote was an obvious trap for a senator like me, who was up for reelection. Did I convince myself that I could gleefully deny Republicans this opportunity? … When Sheila and I attended a Minnesota memorial service for Mathew Shepard, I thought to myself, “Have I taken a position that contributed to a climate of hatred?” … I still wonder if I did the right thing.

You didn’t do the right thing on DoMA, Paul. But you inspired a lot of people to do the right thing since then.

Thanks,

Jeff

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 Photo courtesy Baseball Bugs at WikimediaCommons.