Minnesota

Michele Bachmann Leaves Congress, But Her Ideology Is Here To Stay

At the Heritage Foundation this morning, Rep. Michele Bachmann gave what may have been her last major speech as a member of Congress. But although Bachmann may be leaving Congress, she made it very clear that her ideology is staying behind in the form of a Republican Party that has moved far to the right to make way for the Tea Party’s “freedom-loving reinforcements.”

Linking the Tea Party’s ideology to those who fought in the American revolution, Bachmann said the Tea Party was about “republishing the American values of American greatness.”

And it doesn’t matter whether politicians affiliated with the Tea Party win or lose in elections, she said. They’ve already won, in the form of an establishment Republican Party that has “moved toward embracing the Tea Party’s messaging":

These aren’t new ideas. They are the same values that have been espoused since the time of the American Revolution. But what is different is that it was time for us, we were in desperate need for a reawakening. And that’s what the Tea Party was all about: republishing the American values of American greatness.

All the media wanted to talk about was whether the Tea Party was up or down, whether it was dead or alive. But that missed the point entirely. Because the Tea Party never was, never has been, never will be a political party. Because, you see, it’s a movement about returning us, returning our nation to our founding principles, front and center by contending for them in our public discourse.

Well, the grassroots energy sent a wave of freedom-loving reinforcements to Washington, D.C., in 2010, including the likes of Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul, and it took the gavel away from Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives. And with the largest number of seat pick-ups since 1948, I wonder what this election this year will yield. Even the establishment moved toward embracing the Tea Party’s messaging about constitutional principles like national debt and balanced budgets.

Minnesota Anti-LGBT Activists Turn To Scare Tactics, Religious Persecution Rhetoric In Opposing School Trans-Inclusive Policy

Opponents of a proposed framework for allowing transgender students to participate in school sports in Minnesota has come under fire from anti-LGBT activists in the state, including from the Minnesota Child Protection League, which ran a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week with the message: “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?”

At a hearing yesterday, the group that oversees high school sports in Minnesota tabled the proposal until December after speakers warned that the policy would amount to “transgender promotion” and because some students may have religious objections to transgender identity, it would “intentionally endorse one particular religious view over another.”

The Minnesota Child Protection League claims that its transphobic ad generated over 10,000 emails to the sports board. Andy Birkey with The Colu.mn reports that “most of the speakers in opposition” at yesterday’s hearing “had a connection with either the Child Protection League or the Minnesota Family Council,” a state affiliate of Focus on the Family’s political arm.

Birkey recorded some of the most incendiary rhetoric against the measure:

Attorney Renee Carlson was one of several speakers who were misinformed about the policy, specifically the sensitivity training element.

She said the policy forces schools to “embrace transgenderism through sensitivity training, training that the school does not have an option to decline according to this policy” and “imposes a narrative regarding human sexuality that is different from my own as a parent and leaves no other options.”

Becky Swenson asked, “How much will it cost to provide training? She lamented that OutFront Minnesota was consulted about the policy and said. “I wonder if the true goal isn’t transgender promotion… I’m sad to see that any disagreement is called hate speech.”

Religious school also testified that they objected to the proposed policy on religious ground.

Dr. Jeff Mattner of the Association of Christian Schools International asked the board not to step on the rights of religious schools to exercise their faith and convictions.”

Rev. Fredric Hinz of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, a Lutheran denomination that rejects LGBT rights and advocated ex-gay conversion therapy, echoed some of MNCPL’s misinformation. “We are also disappointed that the proposed policy makes no apparent efforts to acknowledge the financial burden that it may impose on participating schools,” he said. “We find it ironic that while going to great lengths to advocate for greater sensitivity to the concern of transgender students, the proposed policy seems to lack any sensitivity to the vast majority of student athletes who may be forced to forfeit their privacy rights in sharing public facilities.”

He added that his faith rejects people being transgender.

“It is a policy that presumes that our true essence as human beings is somehow separable from our bodies that our bodies are somehow meaningless. This is a view which stands in direct contradiction of the religious views of the vast majority of students and their parents…to adopt this policy would be to intentionally endorse one particular religious view over another.”

Brian Sullivan head of Maranatha Christian Academy and Living Word Christian Center said he opposed it because of “deeply held religious conviction… whether it’s intended or not, it discriminates against these schools on the basis of religion.”

Michele Lentz of the Minnesota Child Protection League said her group is not spreading misinformation about the issue and defended her ad. “If you ran an ad, we wouldn’t have had to. Now parents know.” She challenged the very idea of transgender people. “The underlying assumption is that gender is a choice and not a matter of biology, which is absurd but that is what is at the heart of the controversy.”

Michele Bachmann Proposes 100% Tax On Money Sent Home By Immigrants To Stop 'War That Is Being Waged Against Us'

In a conference call with the anti-immigrant group Numbers USA last week, Rep. Michele Bachmann called illegal immigration a “war against the American people” and suggested that the U.S. levy a 100 percent tax on money that immigrants send back to Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in order to put pressure on those countries’ governments.

The Minnesota Republican spoke just before House Republican leadership handed its immigration policy over to her and Rep. Steve King .

“When are we going to get serious and really deport and deport right on the border?” Bachmann asked.

“Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, those countries are laughing at us because they’re making money with their corrupt governments in conjunction with these international criminal cartels, they’re all making money and kickbacks,” she said. “What I believe we should do is have a 100 percent tax on remittances, the money that illegal aliens send back to these countries.”

“What we have to recognize is this truly is a war against the American people,” she added.

Bachmann made the same suggestion to CNS News last week. Of course, many legal immigrants also rely on sending money to family members in their home countries, something that would be made virtually impossible by a 100 percent tax.

Bachmann later complained that Obama is a “terrible president” who “doesn’t care about veterans and doesn’t care about the American people,” insisting that he only cares about “having you and me paying for his voter registration drive so that his party will be a permanent party in every presidential election in the future and in midterms.”

Later in the call, Bachmann went back to the “war” theme, saying, “What we need to do is get serious and recognize that there is a war that is being waged against us.”

“We’re rolling around looking at each other, but all the while our pockets are being picked and innocent people are being killed by illegal aliens and hurt and robbed and beaten and raped by criminal foreign nationals that are in our country,” she said.

“We are doing everything we can to hold on to this magnificent country as we see it literally fall like sand between our fingers.”

The Right Wing's Immigration Hysteria: Round-Up

Here’s a round-up of last week’s Right Wing immigration hysteria:

PFAW

PFAW Action Fund Announces Young Elected Progressive Endorsements

People For the American Way Action Fund announced today the endorsements of a slate of dynamic young progressive candidates running for public office across the United States. The endorsees are a diverse mix of candidates 35 and under who are marking a new generation of progressive leadership for the future. These candidates and officials represent a vision that will benefit communities all over the country, as they fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and equality for all.

The endorsements are part of People For the American Way Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program. YEP evaluates and endorses young progressive candidates ages 35 and under in their bids for elected office around the U.S. at all levels.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse these YEP candidates for 2014:

James Albis – CT House District 99
James Albis is running for reelection to the Connecticut House of Representatives 99th District, representing East Haven. Albis has advocated consistently on behalf of the families of East Haven for better jobs, better schools, and better opportunities. In his second term as Representative, Albis worked to protect the environment, serving on the Speaker’s Task Force on Shoreline Preservation. Dedicated to supporting children and families, Albis has sponsored and voted for numerous laws that would expand family and medical leave, as well as healthcare, and to protect East Haven’s share of state education funding. Visit James Albis’s campaign website for more details.

John Paul Alvarez – FL House District 100
John Paul Alvarez is running for Florida House of Representatives District 100, representing Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Alvarez, a true Floridian born and raised in South Florida, knows first-hand about the issues facing his community and is dedicated to making Florida prosper. As a teacher, mentor, and community leader, Alvarez is a fierce advocate for public education. By fighting for the issues that matter most to students, working families, retired citizens, taxpayers, and South Florida’s most vulnerable citizens, Alvarez is determined to improve his community by creating more jobs, lowering the cost of living, and promoting equality for all. Visit John Paul Alvarez’s campaign website for more details.

Nelson Araujo – NV Assembly District 3
Nelson Araujo is a candidate for Nevada’s Assembly District 3, representing Clark County and Las Vegas. He is a native Nevadan that was born to struggling immigrant parents. Araujo, a determined leader, fought to help his family out of poverty and became the first in his family to graduate high school. As a community leader and elected official, Araujo is dedicated to stimulating job growth, providing greater healthcare access, and making higher education more accessible to everyone. We believe that with his leadership, Nevada will thrive. Visit Nelson Araujo’s campaign website for more details.

Mandela Barnes – WI Assembly District 11
Mandela Barnes is running for reelection in Wisconsin’s State Assembly District 11, representing central Milwaukee. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Barnes has done important work for Milwaukee as a community organizer and youth and development specialist. His dedication to creating jobs, reforming public education, and modernizing public transportation will serve the people of Milwaukee and strengthen the community. Visit Mandela Barnes’s campaign website for more details.

Jonathan Brostoff – WI Assembly District 19
Jonathan Brostoff, lifelong resident of Milwaukee’s East Side, is running for Wisconsin State Assembly’s 19th District representing central Milwaukee. Brostroff’s dedication to Milwaukee and experience as a legislative aide will help him lead Wisconsin toward a brighter future. Brostoff is determined to promote equal rights for all, to reinvest in public education, and to improve public transit in Wisconsin. Brostoff is a capable leader, devoted to making Wisconsin thrive for generations to come, whose real-world solutions will create progress in the state. Visit Jonathan Brostoff’s campaign website for more details.

Marina Dimitrijevic – WI Assembly District 19
Marina Dimitrijevic is running for the Wisconsin State Assembly District 19. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Dimitrijevic made history in 2004, when she became the youngest woman to be elected to the Milwaukee County Board. During her 10 year tenure, she has championed legislative victories on equal rights for the LGBT community, environmental sustainability, public transit, and workers’ rights. Dimitrijevic’s experience, leadership, and commitment to winning on progressive issues are exactly what the community of Milwaukee needs.  Visit Marina Dimitrijevic’s campaign website for more details.

Justin Chenette – ME House District 134
Justin Chenette is running for reelection to the Maine House of Representatives’ 134th District , representing Saco. Before being elected as state Representative, Chenette served on the Maine State Board of Education, and has carried his passion for education into the state legislature. Chenette sponsored several education-related bills including legislation to promote community service in school and require internship experiences for high school students. Chenette, who was 22 years old upon his election to the House, has already proven himself to be a tireless and dedicated advocate and an important member in the next generation of leaders. Visit Justin Chenette’s campaign website for more details.

Luke Diaz –WI Verona Alder District 3
Luke Diaz is seeking reelection to the Verona City Council’s 3rd District, representing central Verona. Diaz has made it his mission to celebrate the city’s culture by cultivating a thriving downtown in Verona, working to expand jobs, improve transit, and provide important services to the community. An experienced city councilman, Diaz is an accessible leader that is dedicated to listening to the needs of his community. Visit Luke Diaz’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Zachary Dorholt – MN House District 14B
Zach Dorholt is running for reelection the Minnesota House of Representatives’ District 14B, representing St. Cloud City, and Haven and Minden Townships. Previously elected in 2011, Dorholt has been a champion for progressive values during his time in the House. He is an advocate for women’s rights and has sponsored bills to equalize pay in Minnesota and lengthen paid maternity leave. Dorholt has also fought for public education funding and is dedicated to creating a pathway to higher education for young Minnesotans. A proven leader, Dorholt will continue to make Minnesota a better and more prosperous place for the entire community. Visit Zach Dorholt’s campaign website for more details.

Crisanta Duran – CO House District 5

Crisanta Duran is running for reelection in the Colorado House of Representatives’ 5th District, representing Denver. As chairwoman of the joint budget committee, Crisanta guided the passage of a state budget that helped protect the environment, boost investments in education and job training, provide better women’s health services, help survivors of abuse, and create a better state economy for all Coloradoans. In her position as an elected official, she will continue to build a strong progressive foundation for the state’s future. Visit Crisanta Duran’s campaign website for more details.

Daneya Esgar – CO House District 46
Daneya Esgar is a candidate for Colorado State House of Representatives’ District 46, representing Pueblo. A dedicated public servant and product of Pueblo’s public education system, Esgar has dedicated her career as a television news producer and a community organizer to improving this community. Esgar has a clear vision for the future of Pueblo, and will continue to work toward job growth and improved public education as an elected official. Visit Daneya Esgar’s campaign website for more details.

Ryan Fecteau – ME House District 11
Ryan Fecteau is a Biddeford native running for Maine House of Representatives’ District 11, representing his hometown. Fecteau has a fresh and progressive perspective on the issues affecting Maine today. As representative, Fecteau will bring strong support of public education, women’s rights, and equal opportunity for all Americans by championing for middle-class workers, seniors, and college graduates of his district. Visit Ryan Fecteau’s campaign website for more details.

Joe Fitzgibbon – WA House District 34
Joe Fitzgibbon is running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives’ District 34, representing Burien, West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon and Maury Islands. Fitzgibbon has been a fierce advocate for undocumented students, voting for both the DREAM Act and for in-state tuition for undocumented students. A champion for equality in Washington, Fitzgibbon has le d efforts to legalize gay marriage and expand healthcare and Medicaid to help ensure safe abortion procedures. Fitzgibbon is a true progressive and will continue to work toward equality for all Washingtonians. Visit Joe Fitzgibbon’s campaign website for more details.

Chris Larson – WI Senate District 7
Chris Larson is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Senate’s 7th District, representing Milwaukee County. In Larson’s first term as senator, he served as the Minority Leader and worked tirelessly to end marriage discrimination in Wisconsin, to promote public education, and to protect the environment. Larson has worked to stimulate job growth and to increase access to health care, proving that he is truly in-tune with the needs of his community. “Larson is a true progressive leader,” PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager said. “He is clearly dedicated to his community and determined to help each person and his community as a whole.” Visit Chris Larson’s campaign website for more details.

Eric Luedtke – MD House District 14
Eric Luedtke is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 14, representing Montgomery County. Luedtke, who was first elected in 2010, has already made his mark as a progressive representative for Maryland. Luedtke, a teacher by profession, has advocated for public education reform, especially advocating for equality for students with special needs. Committed to families and children, Luedtke has worked on a variety of issues, from promoting easier access to healthcare to sponsoring bills that provide greater aid and support for survivors of sexual assault. Visit Eric Luedtke’s campaign website for more details.

Stefanie Mach – AZ House District 10
Stefanie Mach is running for reelection to the Arizona House of Representatives’ 10th Distric , representing Tucson. Since she was elected in 2012, Mach has proven herself to be a fighter, both professionally and personally. In her time as representative, Mach has worked to improve public education, to make higher education more affordable, to encourage job growth and the expansion of local businesses. An advocate for women and minorities, Mach has demonstrated she is dedicated to making Arizona a prosperous community for everyone. Visit Stefanie Mach’s campaign website for more details.

Marcus Madison – OH Senate District 13
Marcus Madison is a candidate for the Ohio State Senate’s 13th District, representing Huron and Lorain counties. Madison, currently serving as a city councilman in Elyria, has already proven that he is a dedicated public servant. He is the former student body president of Lorain County Community College, and previously served as deputy field officer for Obama for America, as well as Communications Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County. A determined advocate, Madison is committed to improving public education, protecting workers, and providing sustainable jobs that will strengthen the middle class. Visit Marcus Madison’s campaign website for more details.

Aaron Marquez – AZ Senate District 27
Aaron Marquez is running for Arizona State Senate District 27, representing Maricopa County. Marquez, a captain with the U.S. Army Reserve, has been a courageous public servant both overseas and at home. Marquez is a fearless advocate for women’s rights, strong supporter of veterans, and a fighter for public education. A dedicated leader, Marquez will be a force for good in the Arizona legislature. Visit Aaron Marquez’s campaign website for more details.

Andrew McLean – ME House District 129
Andrew McLean is running for reelection to the 129th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing North Gorham, White Rock, Little Falls, the Village and South Gorham. McLean was previously elected in 2012 and has worked tirelessly to support legislation that would protect the environment, expand healthcare, and reform gun laws in Maine. A resilient advocate, as representative McLean will continue to work on behalf of children and families in his next term and for years to come. Visit Andrew McLean’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Matt Moonen – ME House District 118
Matt Moonen is running for reelection in the 118th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing part of Portland. Moonen has been dedicated to improving healthcare in Maine by sponsoring bills that would prohibit smoking in public places and that would expand Medicaid coverage and eligibility. Additionally, Moonen has been a fierce advocate for raising the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and reforming campaign finance. A true progressive candidate, Moonen will continue to make Maine an accepting and thriving place for all. Visit Matt Moonen’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Joe Neguse – CO Secretary of State
Joe Neguse, who is running for Colorado Secretary of State is the right choice for Colorado. Neguse brings with him knowledge and experience as a business attorney, member of the University Of Colorado Board Of Regents, and as a public servant. As secretary of state, Neguse will perform his duties with integrity and transparency, and will work to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to vote in Colorado. Neguse will advocate for everyone, regardless of wealth, age, or social standing. Visit Joe Neguse’s campaign website for more details.

Kesha Ram – VT House District 6-4
Kesha Ram is running for reelection to the Vermont House of Representatives’ District 6-4, representing Chittenden. Ram has worked to promote green job creation, affordable housing, and expanded access to healthcare. Both personally and in her capacity as a representative, Ram has worked to support survivors of domestic violence and is an active advocate for women’s rights. Ram is forward-thinking and dedicated, and her service will help Vermont flourish. Visit Kesha Ram’s campaign website for more details.

Laurie Anne Sayles – MD House District 17
Laurie Anne Sayles is running for Maryland’s House of Delegates District 17, representing Montgomery County. Sayles is a committed parent who has overcome obstacles to become a dedicated public servant in Maryland. A smart and capable leader, Sayles is a determined advocate for affordable healthcare, stronger public education, and accessible public transportation. As an elected official, Sayles will be a truly progressive leader for years to come. Visit Laurie Anne Sayles’s campaign website for more details.

Katrina Shankland – WI Assembly District 71
Katrina Shankland is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing Stevens Point and its neighboring counties. In her one term as representative, Shankland has become a dedicated advocate for women’s rights and workers’ rights in Wisconsin. Shankland has worked to improve public education opportunities, and has been a fighter for environmental preservation and clean and sustainable energy practices. Visit Katrina Shankland’s campaign website for more details.

Alonzo Washington – MD House District 22
Alonzo Washington is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 22, representing Prince George’s County. Washington, who has served in the House since 2012, already made a name for himself as a fighter for progressive values. He has sponsored and voted for bills that will increase the minimum wage, expand access to higher education, and strengthen public schools. As an important leader for Maryland’s future, Washington has and will continue to support progress in Maryland. Visit Alonzo Washington’s campaign website for more details.

Faith Winter – CO House District 35
Faith Winter, running for the Colorado House of Representatives’ 35th District to represent Westminster, is the right choice for Colorado. Winter has dedicated her life to public service, previously serving as a city councilwoman, mayor pro tem, and as the Emerge Colorado’s Executive Director, supporting women running for public office. In these capacities, Winter worked to create long-term jobs, expand affordable housing, and increase usage of sustainable energy in Colorado. Visit Faith Winter’s campaign website for more details.

PFAW

Minnesota GOPer: Fossil Record Proves Humans Lived Alongside Dinosaurs

Bob Frey, a Michele Bachmann ally and Republican candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, wants public schools to teach students that humans and dinosaurs lived together.

Frey, who also has his own bizarre theory about HIV/AIDS, alleged in a 2004 appearance before the Minnesota State Senate Education Committee that the fossil record proves that “dinosaurs have always lived with man,” and such “real science” should be taught in public schools.

Bluestem Prairie dug up the video:

Bluestem Prairie also reports that Frey used to run a group called Creation Science Seminars, which claimed that teaching Creationism would reduce the rate of violence that the theory of evolution had apparently brought upon communities.

Anti-Gay Archbishop Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct

John Nienstedt, the Catholic archbishop who championed the failed effort to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota, is facing a church investigation over allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with other men, including priests and seminary students.

“I believe that the investigators have received about ten sworn statements alleging sexual impropriety on the part of the archbishop dating from his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Bishop of New Ulm, and while coadjutor and archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis,” church whistleblower Jennifer Haselberger told the magazine Commonweal, adding that Nienstedt “also stands accused of retaliating against those who refused his advances or otherwise questioned his conduct.”

Haselberger previously revealed that Neinstedt was failing to properly investigate instances of alleged sexual abuse by priests, including one priest who may have had an “unprofessional relationship” with Neinstedt.

Nienstedt vigorously denied the allegations, and stressed in his statements that none of the claims of sexual misconduct “involve minors.” Last year, he was investigated by local law enforcement for allegedly touching a boy’s buttocks during a confirmation ceremony, but was not charged.

Under Neinstedt, the archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul joined with fellow Minnesota dioceses to deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gay groups, together becoming the largest donor to the unsuccessful campaign pushing a state marriage amendment.

Neinstedt warned Catholics that “there ought not be open dissension” on the issue of marriage equality and urged them to pray against gay rights. According to the Minnesota LGBT site The Column, the archdiocese also “sent out more than 400,000 DVDs that urged voters to vote for candidates that supported putting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2012.”

During the campaign to ban marriage equality, Neinstedt said Satan is behind gay rights and called homosexuality a “grave evil.”

He has criticized the film Brokeback Mountain as an attack on Jesus Christ that would bring down society and described homosexuality as the “result of psychological trauma” that “must be understood in the context of other human disorders: envy, malice, greed, etc.”

Minnesota Safe Schools Bill Becomes Law

In the wee hours of April 9, the Minnesota House of Representatives took the final vote on the Safe and Supportive Schools Act. That afternoon Governor Mark Dayton signed it into law.
PFAW

Safe Schools Letter Campaign Concludes with Nearly 30 Organizations Standing Together to Say Students Deserve Better

The letter-a-day campaign for safe schools that PFAW led concluded today, when we also marked the Day of Silence – an annual event organized by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that is meant to draw attention to the "silencing effects" of anti-gay harassment and name-calling in schools and to be a way for students to show their solidarity with students who have been bullied. Over the last month twenty-eight groups went on record with Congress in support of safe schools legislation. Together, we sent loud and clear the message that all students deserve far better than what they're getting when it comes to bullying and harassment in schools.
PFAW

Fair Housing for LGBT People Rejected in Louisiana

Under current law, Louisiana protects the ability "to compete for available housing on an open, fair, and equitable basis, regardless of race, color, religion, [and] sex." House Bill 804, introduced by Representative Jared Brossett of New Orleans, would have added to the list protections for sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and marital status.
PFAW

Florida Senate Committee Takes Up Voting Rights Bill

SPB 7068 – which cleared a procedural hurdle on March 10 and is expected to come back before the Committee later this month – addresses a number of issues, including the use of certain drop-off locations for the submission of absentee ballots. Last year, Secretary of State Ken Detzner issued a directive against the use of some drop-off sites, such as tax collector offices and county library branches, despite their use in Pinellas County since 2008.
PFAW

Anti-Gay Archbishop Under Investigation For Inappropriately Touching Boy

The Roman Catholic leader who championed the unsuccessful effort to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota is now under investigation for inappropriately touching a minor. According to Minnesota Public Radio, Archbishop John Nienstedt strongly denied the allegation but is stepping down in the meantime:

PFAW Releases New Toolkit on Getting Money Out and Voters In to Our Democracy

We believe in a democratic system where all Americans have equal access to the voting booth and can express their views on a level playing field.
PFAW

Money Out, Voters In: A Guide to Democratic Reform

Americans today face twin threats to the integrity of our democracy: unlimited spending to influence elections and voter suppression. Find out what you can do.

Markell Fears Minnesota Cities May Be Destroyed Over Gay Marriage

Like her fellow Minnesota-based conservative talk show host Bradlee Dean, End Times broadcaster Jan Markell is warning that Minnesota is about to experience divine punishment over the state’s new marriage equality law. She told the American Family Association’s news service that gay people and Muslims have turned Minnesota into “the occult capital of America,” noting that “God destroyed cities in the Bible over homosexuality.”

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, laments that The North Star State has become a mecca for many unpleasant things.

"We're the occult capital of America," she tells OneNewsNow. "We certainly have more Islamic influence probably than any other place, other than Dearborn, Michigan. We're certainly one of the gay capitals, and now with homosexual marriage a reality, many Christians, solid pro-family-type people -- we don't know where to run to."

And Markell believes Minnesota Christians are concerned about God's judgment on the state.

"Whether it be economically or some weather-related kind of a tragedy, but God destroyed cities in the Bible over homosexuality; He speaks out on this issue in a very clear manner and calls this an abomination," the Olive Tree Ministries founder warns.

Markell also hosted David Wheaton of The Christian Worldview on her weekend program, Understanding the Times, to discuss Jason Collins and the public reaction to his decision to come out of the closet. Wheaton said that acceptance of Collins and other gay people is turning America into a “disgrace to God,” while Markell claimed that President Obama’s support for Collins proves that “we are headed into big trouble.”

Minnesota Republican Lawmaker Warns of 'Gay Agenda in Public and Parochial Schools' and Hate Speech Laws

Following the passage of his state’s marriage equality law, Minnesota Republican state representative Glenn Gruenhagen is urging constituents to “resist the implementation of the gay agenda in public and parochial schools.” The blog Bluestem Prairie noticed Gruenhagen’s letter to the editor of the McLeod County Chronicle Wednesday, in which he claims that in Massachusetts there have already been cases where “citizens who would not succumb to politically correct speech have been charged with hate crimes.”

He cites the anti-gay group MassResistance as the source of his information and links to their website.

Of course, there are no such cases of people being “charged with hate crimes” for not using “politically correct speech.”

What is more troubling is that a state lawmaker is citing an organization whose leader Brian Camenker suggested gay marriage led to a rise in homelessness, crime, poor air quality and domestic violence, denies that gay people died in the Holocaust, likened pro-gay rights educators to “Nazi concentration camp guards” and compared gay rights efforts to Jim Crow laws.

Under this legislation, children could be chided and corrected for using gender specific terms like “mother and father” and instead will be told to use gender neutral terms like “parent and spouse” so as not to offend certain groups.

This may be difficult to believe, but as a long-term school board member, I do not make this statement lightly. I have personal experience as a board member, where state statutes were changed and eventually school curriculum and speech had to conform. I was then chided for public comments on school issues when I used terminology that was not politically correct.

In other countries and in the state of Massachusetts, where gay marriage has become the law, we have observed that citizens who would not succumb to politically correct speech have been charged with hate crimes and their parental rights infringed upon. (Seewww.massresistance.com for more information.)

When signed, this bill will become the law of our state. We are a nation of laws, however we still have the right as citizens, parents and school officials to passively resist the gay agenda coming into our schools. …

During these past several months, Lutheran and Catholic organizations were key groups opposing the gay marriage bill. As your state representative, I am very thankful for their help in opposing the passage of gay marriage.

I plan to introduce legislation next session in an attempt to strengthen parental rights and school official rights to resist the implementation of the gay agenda in public and parochial schools. I will also introduce legislation to strengthen protection for our religious freedoms.

Bradlee Dean Has Epic Meltdown over Minnesota's Gay Marriage Law

Minnesota-based Religious Right activist/rock star Bradlee Dean went ballistic on his radio show yesterday in response to his state’s new marriage equality law. Dean warned that Gov. Mark Dayton, who signed the same-sex marriage bill into law, is at “war with God” and is “about to find out what it’s like as to what the fallout is when you throw rocks towards God, he’s going to learn how gravity works.” He added that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who backed his state’s marriage equality law, and other pro-gay rights “criminals” will face divine justice as well: 

Dean even seems to believe that every gay person in the country showed up for yesterday’s celebration of the marriage equality law in order to “push their propaganda and their agendas on the American people,” just as Saul Alinsky commanded.

“They come from all over the country to do this so what you’ve seen was probably the whole lump of the population of the homosexual community in the United States of America,” Dean said.

After lamenting about the “pansies” in the Minnesota legislature, Dean and his co-hosts began discussing the “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act,” an LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying bill, which he said is proof that “radical homosexuals” are part of a “UN global agenda” to “destroy the family.”

Dean then channeled his inner-Antoine Dodson and claimed that gays are coming after your wife and kids: “Go home, look at your wife and look at your kids, because now that’s what they’re coming for.”

He even lashed out at “my good friend Alex Jones,” who is apparently not anti-gay enough for Dean, despite his belief that chemicals in juices are turning kids gay.

Dean concluded the show by warning that gay rights advocates are creating a “totalitarian system” by pushing the anti-bullying legislation, fearing that “pharmaceutical giants” might diagnose anti-gay activists as mentally ill.

“The conservatives on the airwaves in Minneapolis are sitting there playing games with the homosexuals because they think it’s a puppy to be played with when in fact it’s a stinking water rat filled with rabies,” he concluded.

Thanks to RWW reader Matthew for the tip!

PFAW Members Join Thousands to Make Minnesota the 12th State with Marriage Equality

Photo credit: City of Minneapolis Facebook

Thousands of Minnesotans streamed into St. Paul Tuesday afternoon to witness history in the making.  Governor Mark Dayton welcomed an estimated crowd of 7,000 equality supporters to watch him sign marriage equality legislation into law, making Minnesota the twelfth state to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.

People For members helped make this historic event happen.  In 2012 PFAW activists joined the fight to vote down an anti-gay ‘one-man, one-woman’ measure on the November ballot.  Following that first step, they continued working hard, joining PFAW ally organizations Minnesotans United and OutFront Minnesota in organizing their neighbors, making phone calls, sending emails, and writing letters to their newspapers, demanding full marriage equality for same-sex couples.

In late April, even a massive Midwestern blizzard didn’t stop hundreds from waving rainbow flags while rallying for same-sex marriage on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol before heading inside to lobby their legislators.  Last week the big moment finally arrived, as activists from across Minnesota trekked to St. Paul to witness the historic debate of HF 1054 in the MN House.  After a contentious three-hour debate, the bill passed easily on a vote of 75-59, evidence of the measure’s broad bi-partisan support.

On Monday the action moved to the Minnesota Senate chamber.  Once again, PFAW members in their bright red PFAW ‘Equality Now!’ t-shirts joined thousands of marriage equality supporters at noon in the capitol as the MN Senate took up the measure.  A massive crowd packing the rotunda and hallways chanted ‘Vote Yes!’ and sang protest songs, letting Senators know where they stood.  By a vote of 42-45, the Senate voted down a divisive amendment that would have allowed business owners to refuse goods and services to same-sex couples based on religious objections.  The hours-long but respectful debate on the intact same-sex marriage bill resulted in another bipartisan vote; the measure passing 37-30, sending the bill to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature.

At 5:00 pm yesterday Gov. Dayton and supportive members of the Minnesota Legislature gathered in the 90-degree heat on the front steps to celebrate the historic bill signing.  A deafening roar rose from the crowd as Dayton signed the bill into law.  Following the ceremony, the thousands of equality revelers paraded to downtown St. Paul for a free party thrown by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. The celebration lasted late into the warm spring night. 

PFAW congratulates all Minnesotans and our People For members in celebrating the state’s newly-minted status as the twelfth marriage equality state!
 

 

 

PFAW

Rallying for Marriage Equality in Minnesota

Yesterday, as the Minnesota Senate voted 37-30 to allow same-sex marriages in the state, PFAW and friends expressed their support for marriage equality through signs, chants, and songs:

 

PFAW
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