Minnesota

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

Minnesota House Passes Marriage Equality Bill

This afternoon the Minnesota House passed a bill allowing same-sex couples in Minnesota to marry. It is expected to be taken up by the Senate on Monday, and Gov. Mark Dayton has pledged to sign the legislation if it reaches him.   If successful, Minnesota would be the twelfth state – and the third in one month – to pass marriage equality legislation.

“I personally want this to pass, but I also think it’s the right direction for Minnesota and where the future is headed,” said Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen on Tuesday, according to the Star Tribune.

Jake Loesch, communications director for Minnesotans United, shared a similar sentiment:

“Marriage is a simple freedom, it’s something that all Minnesotans deserve and it’s about the love, the commitment, the responsibility that two people share.”
 

PFAW

Right Wing Round-Up - 3/12/13

Anti-Muslim Activists Apoplectic Over PFAW's Michele Bachmann Petition

On Monday, People For the American Way delivered a petition with 178,000 signatures to House Speaker John Boehner calling for the removal of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Bachmann, one of Congress’ leading purveyors of conspiracy theories, earned rebukes from Boehner and others last year when she accused several Muslim-American government employees, include top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, of being secret agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The petition, to put it mildly, hit a nerve among Bachmann’s allies in the anti-Muslim Right. FrontPageMag, an online outfit led by David Horowitz, has published a full three articles defending Bachmann and accusing PFAW of “smearing” the “vindicated” Bachmann by launching an “all-out war” on her.  In one article, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch argues, “If they really had any genuine concern for the American way, instead of calling for her removal from the Intelligence committee, the People for the American Way would be calling for Bachmann to be appointed to chair that committee.”

Yesterday, Horowitz launched his own petition, titled, ironically, “Stop the Witch Hunt Against Rep. Bachmann.”

Horowitz and Spencer aren’t the only ones coming to Bachmann’s defense. The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who was the source of the bulk of Bachmann’s accusations against Abedin, and conservative columnist Diana West discussed the petition on Wednesday’s edition of Secure Freedom Radio. People For the American Way, Gaffney suggested, is part of the “Red-Green Axis” and should be called instead “People For the Islamist Way”:

Gaffney: I wanted to turn to a woman who has probably understood this jihadist enterprise, most especially the civilization jihadist element of it, that is to say the so-called non-violent -- actually pre-violent form -- that we’ve talked about in the book that you contributed marvelously to, Sharia: The Threat to America, namely Michele Bachmann. She has been savaged now for almost a year for having actually raised an alarm about some of this. What’s going on with her at the moment and what should our listeners be thinking about it and doing?

West: Well, you have People For the American Way, a leftist advocacy group, actually putting together a petition asking to have Speaker John Boehner to remove Michele Bachmann from the House Intelligence Committee. Now this actually all ties in to what we were talking about already because FOX has also savaged Michele Bachmann, specifically going back to last summer when she and a few of her colleagues were raising questions about Muslim Brotherhood penetration into the United States government. Specifically, one of the cause celebre was the perhaps penetration, her question of the secretary of state’s office with her top aide being Huma Abedin, who we’ve spoken about before. And this is one of these…

Gaffney: Closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

West: Correct.

Gaffney: I think what we’re really getting at here is Michele Bachmann is being vilified for having exposed some of that influence operation, penetration problem and she should be, if anything, lauded for it, not taken to task by the Red-Green Axis, as they call it, doing business under the form of People For the Islamist Way.

PFAW Delivers 178,000 Petitions Calling for Michele Bachmann’s Removal from Intelligence Committee

Today, after an overwhelming response from our members and supporters, members of PFAW’s staff delivered a whopping 178,000 petitions to House Speaker John Boehner calling on him to remove Rep. Michele Bachmann from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Last year, Bachmann earned rebukes from Democrats and Republicans alike when she accused Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and others of a secret allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood. In an interview first reported by PFAW’s Right Wing Watch, she alleged that “there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood.” Later, she accused President Obama of trying to implement Sharia law in the United States and abroad.

The petition states, "Members of the House Intelligence Committee are entrusted with classified information that affects the safety and security of all Americans. That information should not be in the hands of anyone with such a disregard for honesty, misunderstanding of national security, and lack of respect for his or her fellow public servants.”

Boehner, who is among the Republicans who condemned Bachmann’s allegations about Abedin, has not yet responded.

PFAW

PFAW Delivers 178,000 Petitions Calling for Bachmann’s Removal from Intelligence Committee

WASHINGTON – Today, People For the American Way will deliver 178,000 petitions to House Speaker John Boehner urging him to remove Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann from the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the 113th Congress. Bachmann earned rebukes from Boehner, John McCain and others last year when she launched a smear campaign against Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, alleging that Abedin and other Muslim-American public servants were agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Michele Bachmann has used her position on the Intelligence Committee to spread baseless conspiracy theories and smear the reputations of honorable public servants,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Speaker Boehner himself called her actions ‘dangerous.’ It’s mysterious, then, why he has chosen to reward her reckless extremism with continued access to sensitive national security information and a powerful platform for her agenda.”

“Members of the Intelligence Committee are responsible for the safety of all Americans,” continued Keegan. “178,000 Americans are sending Speaker Boehner a clear message: we don’t want our national security in Michele Bachmann’s hands.”

People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch has detailed coverage of Rep. Bachmann here.
 

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Michele Bachmann Back on the Intelligence Committee, Still Spouting Conspiracy Theories

Last year, after Michele Bachmann launched a smear campaign against Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin and alleged that there had been “deep penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood in high levels of government, People For the American Way launched a campaign to get Bachmann kicked out of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. On the Intelligence Committee, she has special access to sensitive national security information, which probably shouldn’t be in the hands of a fear-mongering conspiracy theorist. But this week, Bachmann announced that she had been reassigned to the Intelligence Committee, despite the protests.

In light of the news, PFAW has revived its petition drive and the campaign has been covered by USA Today, the Huffington Post, and the Ed Show:

Back in July, we published a rundown of Bachmann’s worst conspiracy theories. Since then, she’s added to her repertoire, claiming that President Obama has “enforced Islamic speech codes here in the U.S.” and is intent on imposing Sharia law at home and abroad.

You can sign PFAW’s petition to remove Bachmann from the Intelligence Committee here.

PFAW

Michele Bachmann Back on the Intelligence Committee, Still Spouting Conspiracy Theories

Last year, after Michele Bachmann launched a smear campaign against Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin and alleged that there had been “deep penetration” by the Muslim Brotherhood in high levels of government, People For the American Way launched a campaign to get Bachmann kicked out of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. On the Intelligence Committee, she has special access to sensitive national security information, which probably shouldn’t be in the hands of a fear-mongering conspiracy theorist. But this week, Bachmann announced that she had been reassigned to the Intelligence Committee, despite the protests.

In light of the news, PFAW has revived its petition drive and the campaign has been covered by USA Today, the Huffington Post, and the Ed Show:

Back in July, we published a rundown of Bachmann’s worst conspiracy theories. Since then, she’s added to her repertoire, claiming that President Obama has “enforced Islamic speech codes here in the U.S.” and is intent on imposing Sharia law at home and abroad.

You can sign PFAW’s petition to remove Bachmann from the Intelligence Committee here.

Barton Says Marriage Equality Election Wins Were 'Rhetorical Victory,' Falsely Claims it Lost in Minnesota

On Friday's "WallBuilders Live" radio program, David Barton and Rick Green hosted another "good news Friday" broadcast during which they traditionally discuss "good news from around the country that the media doesn't report!"

During the broadcast, Barton commented on the various marriage victories during the recent election, seeing "good news" in the fact that, despite the wins, polls show that most Americans still do not support marriage equality ... which is a claim that should probably be taken with a grain of salt seeing as it came from Barton who repeatedly and falsely claimed that marriage equality only won in three out of the four states where it was on the ballot, asserting that "traditional marriage" was victorious in Minnesota:

There is some good news. There are some storm clouds, we saw storm clouds election night. You look at the marriage amendments; three of the four marriage issues went down. In Minnesota, it almost went down, it was like a 50-50 prop; it should not have been that close that marriage is a man and a woman, but going down in Maine, and going down in Washington, and going down in Maryland but preserving barely in Minnesota.

While we did lose three of the four states and almost lost the fourth state, nationally the support is still high. A poll done on election day found that sixty percent of Americans strongly support marriage as a man and a woman.

It's a rhetorical victory for same-sex marriage proponents because they say "hey, we won three out of the last four states that voted on this." Yeah, with about 50.5% support, you know, barely.

There's no compelling victory here, but nonetheless it's regrettable we lost those three states but at the same time you still have nearly two to one support for traditional marriage in America.

Does Barton really not know that the amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota lost? Maybe he ought to visit the Minnesota for Marriage website, which led the fight to pass the amendment:

As we shared with you following the election last week, and as you’ve probably heard ad nauseum from the media since then, despite our best efforts, a majority of Minnesota voters rejected the proposal to secure the definition of marriage in our state constitution.

...

After looking at the results here and in other states, it is clear that we were swimming against a powerful tide that swept the entire nation. Our opponents raised vastly more resources from gay marriage activists across the country who were determined to make this the year their unbroken losing streak would end. They enjoyed the support of the elite in politics, the media and entertainment. And, perhaps worst of all was that many evangelicals, including some prominent pastors and faith leaders, either refused to support the amendment or just remained silent.

Obviously we are very disappointed in the outcome, but we have no regrets in making the effort. Marriage as the union of one man and one woman has served Minnesota well. As our opponents frequently pointed out, marriage remains the union of a man and a woman even after last week’s vote.

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