Shower Curtain Chronicles

Shower Curtain Chronicles

Latex painted shower curtains make great, cheap, waterproof banners to display at demonstrations, over freeways or anyplace you want to take it to the anti-gay, anti-Constitution fascists. This blog will feature banners I've made over the years, commentary on the outrages du jour, general observations and accounts of the latest actions by our blog troop as we wield the bathroom accessory cum political billboard.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Al Gore Wants A Revolution, A Real One

No one in the media seems to have noticed that the former Vice President of the United States and former President Elect (not sworn in), Al Gore is calling for revolution, as reported in Aljazeera English. He is quoted as saying he wants to see an "American Spring" ala Arab Spring, modeled after what happened in Tunisia and Egypt...a fucking revolution! At least, so far, as is so typical of Democrats, he hasn't bowed from the ankles or licked Rupert Murdoch's ass after saying something real. So, he apparently recognizes that our system has failed the people and holds no hope for producing the kind of government that will meet the needs of the vast majority of Americans. It has been a thirty year downhill slide starting with the neocon puppet, Reagan with successively crazier Republican and successively weaker Democratic presidents. We all know it. No matter who we put in power we get the same shit.

For two years, the Democrats had complete control of the federal government. What did we get?:
  • No desperately-needed liberalization of labor laws
  • No minimum wage increase
  • Extension of unaffordable tax cuts for the wealthy
  • Continuation of two costly, unnecessary wars
  • Continued illegal operation of a concentration camp at Guantanamo
  • Continuation of illegal domestic wire tapping
  • Failure to hold Bush war criminals to account
  • Extension of unconstitutional "Patriot Act"
  • No universal healthcare
  • Jailing of single payer healthcare advocates
  • No prosecutions of "financial crisis" criminals
  • No halt to the hemoraging of American jobs to other countries
  • Harry-it's-too-politically-difficult-our-hands-are-tied-Reid
The repeal of DADT was their highest profile accomplishment. This long overdue, "daring" move was supported by nearly the whole fucking population. Way to fight for it Dems!

The mass media is owned or controlled, in it's entirety, by right wing Republicans. All of it, including "Public Media" is a propaganda machine for right wing principles, so there are always just enough numb skulls to keep the vote close enough to be easily stolen by Republican-owned voting machines and election officials. We don't even bother to contest it anymore.

So, wages are falling; Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are under attack and hanging by a thread because they make the people too secure to be completely enslaved; our personal communications, finances, medical records and even physical movements are laid bare to government surveillance; our born-in-the-USA citizenship can be erased by the stroke of a pen from any Attorney General (didn't know that, did you?) and no matter who we vote for, nothing changes.

Revolution? Viva Gore!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BLOW ME kisses

As you may know, I am proud to be the Senate author of a bill to repeal DOMA, now that the Dems are finally out of power and it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing. And I want you to know, my GLBTLMNOP friends, that no matter how long it takes to repeal this awful law (which will be a long time because the Republicans hate you more than we Dems do and even if the Dems do regain power it will of course be too "politically difficult" to pass), we (meaning I), will continue to reap the political benefits of carrying this bill without actually having to risk a goddamn thing for you. Meanwhile, you can all BLOW ME kisses as I shuffle along in the gay pride parades remembering my most famous quote about marriage equality, "It's too much, too soon." By the way, Harvey Milk was a bowler.

This War Needs Two Fronts

No question, the bigots in the legislature have temporarily succeeded in screwing us over, doing what they've been trying to do since 2004 with their first introduction of an anti-gay marriage amendment. In previous years, their bills have all contained wording that would exclude legal recognition of any same-sex relationship, however, this year's bill has omitted that exclusionary language with the Republican authors in the Senate and House expressly admitting that the amendment allows for same-sex civil unions. That's a big change from previous years and it's a change that occurred, in part, because Marriage Equality Minnesota has had a constant presence at the Capitol, and initiated the first marriage equality bill in the Minnesota's history to be introduced in both houses of the legislature. We repeated the introduction of that bill in 2009 and now our bill, the Marriage and Family Protection Act, has been re-introduced in 2011, for a third biennium in a row. The pushing forward of that bill, plus the filing of the lawsuit last year by Marry Me Minnesota against the State for same-sex marriage rights, created an expectation of impending equality that made it impossible for the bigots in the legislature to offer up the same exclusionary amendment they have repeatedly introduced and have any chance of passage. They were forced to put a hole in the amendment, accommodating civil unions, because we pushed forward with REAL action, not just talk, for marriage equality in the legislature and in the courts, action that has moved public opinion in our direction, as born out by recent polls.

Do we need to organize against the amendment? YES! But let's take some of the new-found energy this anti-gay marriage amendment has created and use it to push forward for equality. We must do both!

Marriage Equality Minnesota's marriage equality bill is in play, in both houses of the legislature, through the end of the 2012 session and Marry Me Minnesota has a marriage equality lawsuit making its way through the Minnesota courts. We still have hope! Nobody knows what the future will bring no matter how much they profess to be able to predict elections. Who correctly predicted the outcome of the 2010 election in Minnesota? Nobody! Many of our so-called experts were telling us pro-equality officials would have complete control of state government after the 2010 election. They were wrong. Marriage Equality Minnesota discounted those predictions and said we need to push marriage equality as far as we can get, RIGHT NOW, because we don't know what will happen in the next election. That position was right, and it still holds true. We have to push forward for marriage equality, RIGHT NOW, like there's no tomorrow because pushing forward is the only thing that brings progress!

The truth is, with enough action we CAN get a marriage equality bill through the legislature and signed by the governor; we CAN defeat the anti-gay marriage amendment; we CAN have success in the Minnesota courts, overturning the statutory ban on same-sex marriage. And, let's not forget that there are marriage equality cases making their way through the federal courts, as well, that could ultimately overturn all state-level same-sex marriage bans, including the anti-gay marriage amendment the bigots are currently trying to pass in Minnesota. We have hope!

So, while you're talking to friends and neighbors about opposing the anti-gay marriage amendment, please mention the marriage equality bill that is currently in the legislature that will bring full marriage equality to same-sex couples in Minnesota, the Marriage and Family Protection Act, SF 1427 and HF 1710, as well. Encourage them to frequently call their legislators demanding support for its passage. And, support the marriage equality lawsuit, currently on appeal.

We've just begun to fight! - Doug

Saturday, August 13, 2011


First, let me say to my homosexual friends that I AM NOT A BIGOT for authoring Minnesota's anti-gay marriage amendment! I just want your neighbors to be able to define marriage in a way that excludes people like you. WHAT!? We're just giving the mob the rope...they can do what they want with it! Geez.

Call me,
Photo of Senator Limmer

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today, We Are All Cheese Heads

This situation in Wisconsin might have an up side for us all by presenting the workers of this country with a moment of clarity. They will observe the proceedings and have to decide which side they're on. Will they side with the people who they have everything in common with, their fellow workers, or will they side with the employing class that steals from them, the wealth they create with their labor? Either way, in this country where the corporate-owned mass media has trained us all to think of ourselves as "independent" contractors so we don't band together and demand a greater portion of the wealth we create, people will have to think about what it means to be a worker, who's on our side, and that's a good thing for the working class and democracy.

I can't help but wonder if this Wisconsin assault on workers would even be happening if the Democrats, when they had complete control of the federal government for the last two years, had used their power to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and, in general, strengthen labor laws that empower workers to organize and provide them with the protections they need to fend off hostile employers like the governor of Wisconsin. If they had, the Dems might still be in power and we might be glad they were.

And, where is the resolution from the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate supporting the union workers under siege by this lunatic Wisconsin governor? Perhaps what we need is a Labor Party!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Dogmas Allowed

Our fellow citizens who find themselves in public office do not have a right to tell two of their fellow citizens that they cannot go to the court house and get a government issued marriage license because it violates the office holder's personal religious beliefs. Any politician who makes such an assertion should be removed from office. It is a violation of their oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and, let's face it, it is a blatant display of contempt for the core concept of freedom that is basic to our way of life in America.

As an example of this contemptible mindset, let me introduce you to a Minnesota legislator who believes his religious beliefs should govern all of our lives in this state. He is DFL Rep. John Ward of the Brainerd area. When I asked him to sign onto the marriage equality bill, the Marriage and Family Protection Act in the last biennium, he cheerfully refused, citing his personal religious beliefs, and skipped along his merry way. And, I was apparently supposed to just excuse him, as a matter of course, as if his religious beliefs were a perfectly valid pass for this PUBLIC office holder from respecting and upholdingRepresentative John Ward the constitutional rights of the citizens of this state.

Well, religious beliefs are NOT a free pass for John Ward or anyone else in public office. It is their obligation to divorce themselves from the dogma dictated by their religion when fulfilling their responsibilities to the diverse population of this state that depends on its public officials to approach public policy without the injection of bigotry. Any public official that declares that their religious beliefs don't allow them to serve ALL the citizens of this state without bias, is unqualified for public office and should resign or be removed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"My Little Brother Finally Came Out"

A young lobbyist planted herself against the railing near where I was protesting at the top of the Senate stairs this morning and without looking at me, said, "I'm so glad to see you here again." And then she began to tear up, saying, "I just think you're amazing to keep doing this." After I playfully told her she was amazing, she went on to say that her little brother had "finally" come out of the closet; that she had known since he was nearly a toddler that he was gay and now his coming out as a young man was a relief for her. Unfortunately, their father is not accepting of his gay son. She sarcastically snarls the word "christian" in reference to him and says he is anything but...

So, big sister has taken her little brother into her own home where he will have the love and acceptance of family. I told her how lucky her little brother is to have such a wonderful sister to look out for him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Marriage Equality Advocates Shun Former Governor

While displaying marriage equality messages and chanting, "GAY, STRAIGHT, BLACK, WHITE, MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL RIGHT" in front of public office holders entering the MN House chamber to hear Governor Dayton's State of the State Address, Marriage Equality Minnesota demonstrators were approached by two former governors. Former DFL Governor Wendy Anderson detoured from his path to the House chamber door to shake our hands as we stood behind the cordon capitol security had set up. Next, was former Republican Governor Al Quie, the same person I photographed attending the Minnesota Family Council's anti-gay marriage mob meeting at the Kelly Inn just three weeks ago (see previous article). He tried to shake our hands but was refused by our entire contingent. When he enquired as to our refusal, I told him that he was working to keep our families from having the same rights his family has, "So, we don't want to shake your hand." I said further that, "You were at a meeting at the Kelly Inn a few weeks ago with the sole purpose of keeping our families from having the same rights yours has." He denied being at such a meeting, saying, "Well, I've been to the Kelly many times. I just came from there this morning." I told him he was photographed at the meeting. He also, spoke with our protester, John Rittman, at the event. He lowered his voice and furrowed his brow saying, "Now, if you're talking about gay marriage, I'm against that." I said, "I know. That's why we're not shaking your hand." There was plenty I could have said to him at that point, but he was blocking our sign and I just wanted him to go away and stop bothering us with his phony glad-handing.

He attacks our families behind our backs and then tries to create this theatre of tolerance at a high profile event. No thanks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Anti-Gay Bigots Repent Your Sin!

Gay activist and agent provocateur, John Rittman, sported this sign while protesting the Minnesota Family Council's anti-gay marriage organizing symposium at the Kelly Inn, near the Capitol on Friday. He was able to respectfully dissent inside the
hotel, standing next to the event's registration table until the beginning of their proceedings because he and his husband, Tom, had rented a room at the hotel the night before. So, they were guests of the hotel with access to all public areas, including the hallway that runs by the meeting room where the event was located. At one point, as John stood quietly, a woman from the group came up and told him he would have to leave. He ignored her. Later, there was a dust up with unenlightened hotel management, but the protest was over by then.

Outside the hotel, Impact TC's protest was in full swing, with picketers plying the snow-covered sidewalks, admonishing the anti-gay bigots as they slithered into their evil rendezvous.

Speaking of anti-gay bigots, did you know this guy (below left) was an anti-gay bigot? That's right, it's the 87 year old former Republican congressman and governor, Al Qui, making his way into the unholy conclave of shadowy figures conspiring to deprive gay and lesbian Minnesotans of their constitutional right to marry. Does he use his rare experience and knowledge to encourage greater unity and understanding among his fellow Minnesotans? No. Qui exploits his stature as a former holder of high public office to harm people who have done nothing to him - just another cruel bigot plotting to preserve an unjustifiable, exclusive privilege for himself and those like him, while the rest are kept out. NICE LEGACY, GOVERNOR.

Below, we see that freshman Republican legislator, Carolyn McElfatrick wastes no time in using her new influence as a state representative to persecute a recognized minority she apparently doesn't like. Oppressing members of a minority by pretending to defend something that doesn't need defending, is persecution just as vile as burning a cross in someone's yard. Perhaps she should be using her time on the state's payroll to focus on job creation, or improving education, or expanding healthcare, or rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure.

For those of you in the Deer River area (District 3B), formerly represented by Loren Solberg, you might want to let your new "representative" know what you think about her participating in this anti-gay hate fest at the Kelly Inn, on your dime. Her office phone number is 651-296-2365.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gays Turned The Legislature In 2010

The bracketed text is an article I wrote April 25, 2010 posted to the Marriage Equality Minnesota facebook page.

[ The legislators who continue to refuse to take meaningful action on marriage equality talk about "next year, next year," as if there were a DFL governor and DFL-controlled legislature already in existence, just sitting out there in 2011 waiting for us all to catch up to it. Well, nobody knows what will happen in the November election. We could certainly lose control of the does happen, and 20 years without a DFL governor is a lot of history to overcome. We mustn't waste our current opportunities to make real progress on marriage equality by deferring to an imagined future DFL utopia. With current 2 to 1 DFL majorities in both houses, we need a floor vote on marriage equality THIS YEAR.

And, this imagined utopia we're supposed to defer to may not live up to its billing, anyway. Because Pawlenty has lowered the bar to such depths (on everything), a DFL governor could get away with doing practically nothing for gays and still seem like an improvement...and that is exactly what he or she would do. Look at what's happened, or rather NOT happened at the federal level with ENDA, DOMA, DADT...nothing. Marriage equality??? Don't count on that being a priority for the next governor no matter what party they're from. It is IMPERATIVE that we pull out all the stops for progress on marriage equality, right now in 2010, and get as far as we can while we still have a favorably configured legislature.

For the remainder of this session, until the final gavel falls, I will be pressing for a floor vote on marriage equality in both houses of the legislature because I believe, with leadership, the votes are there for passage.
One thing is certain, and that is that only you can make this happen. Please visit or call your legislators and let them know that you don't need rosy prognostications and promises of future action from them that only serve as an excuse for doing nothing in the present. Tell them
you expect real action from them, right now, in passing marriage equality legislation, this session! - Doug ]

I did everything I could think of up to the last day of the 2010 session to convince the DFL leadership to act on marriage equality before the opportunity passed, including presenting Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Senator Majority Leader, Larry Pogemiller with hundreds of petition signatures urging them to act before the session ended. They refused. Margaret, later lost her bid for governor, in the primary

When calling and writing and protesting don't bring the desired effect on those in power, an election becomes a blunt instrument. For gays, this past election became their weapon of choice against a DFL that failed to produce a SINGLE VOTE on marriage equality when it had control of the legislature for the last 4 years and 2 to 1 majorities in both houses of the legislature, for an entire biennium. When public office holders drag their feet, make lame excuses and outright obstruct efforts to recognize our long-awaited freedoms, as voters, we are left with few choices. One choice is to continue putting the same betrayers of our trust back in office and hope they will change, or we can throw them under the bus the way they have repeatedly thrown us under the bus and face the consequences. This year, gay voters in Minnesota chose the latter.

From the beginning, Marriage Equality Minnesota has told it's now 9000 plus facebook members the way it really is at the legislature. There's been no whitewashing to score meaningless pats on the head. We told of the slow-walking of our bill, the duplicity of House and
Senate leadership, behind the scenes obstructions, insistance on information-only hearings when the bill would have easily passed a vote. Nationally, a third of gays, demoralized over a lack of action on gay rights, voted Republican, up from 19% in 2008. Control of our legislature was lost by only 600 votes. The DFL "carefulled" themselves right out of power.

Senator Jim Carlson, who refused to sign on to the Marriage and Family Protection Act when it was introduced a second time in 2009, told me, "I have to be careful. I have an election coming up in two years." He lost his seat, anyway. I guess he was a little too careful. Not one senator who signed onto our bill, lost their seat.

On the House side, Rep. Dave Olin, DFL co-sponsor of the ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE AMENDMENT, lost his bid for reelection by nearly 20 percentage points. If distancing yourself from gays is the key to being reelected, how anti-gay do you have to get? Good riddance to this gay-hating asshat.

DFL Rep. Tim Faust refused to sign on to our bill, saying it would be his last act as a rep. because if he did sign on, he would never get reelected. He told me at Pine City Pride this year that he'd sign on if a DFL governor was elected. Well, maybe if Tim had signed on last year he would have gotten that opportunity, but he lost his election.

One major obstacle to getting a full committee hearing in the House
was that the comittee chair wanted to "protect" a first term DFL
member of the Civil Justice Committee, Rep. Gail Kulick Jackson, from
having to vote on marriage equality, because she would be a yes vote
and he feared that that would doom her reelection. Well, she lost
anyway, without ever getting to make that vote. If she had been given
the opportunity to vote for equality, she might still be in office.

Perhaps if the former Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Sen. Moua had
had her way as expressed at a meeting in early 2009, wanting a very
brief committee hearing with a vote and then a floor vote, the DFL
might still hold the senate. And, if the behind the scenes message
from the House leadership to committee chairs in 2009 hadn't been "no
gay marriage bills this session," then, there may have been real
progress on marriage equality and the House might still be in DFL hands.

If courage and a genuine interest in fighting for marriage equality
had been displayed by DFL leadership in the last two years, gays
would have been compelled to flood to the polls in support of DFL
candidates and that 2011 DFL utopia might actually be our current
reality instead of the Republican hell we all now face.

The Senate and House DFL caucuses have had the good sense to replace
their leadership with new blood. Let's hope they have the courage to
champion the cause of equality, bring the gay votes back, and make the Republican reign a brief one.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gee, We DO Have A Constitution...Who Knew?

A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional Thursday, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic.

"In fact, it is because the nature of prayer is so personal and can have such a powerful effect on a community that the government may not use its authority to try to influence an individual's decision whether and when to pray," Crabb wrote.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My DFL History

I was born a DFLer and grew up in a union, DFL world where Hubert Humphrey was a god. In rural Duluth, Republicans were few and far between. As a kid, to meet one was like discovering a space alien. When I reached high school age and had to go to school downtown, I was able to skip the bus ride home and volunteer at Humphrey campaign headquarters after school, getting a ride home with my Dad when he was done with work. One of the enduring sadnesses of my young life was Humphrey's loss in '68. I still wonder what kind of forward-looking, culturally and scientifically advanced, working class utopia this country might be right now if he had won.

My older sister took me to my first caucus when I turned 18. At the next caucus I was proud to be elected precinct captain and held that position a number of times. In 1990, I founded and chaired the Northland DFL Lesbian/Gay Caucus and later became the Affirmative Action Director of my senate district. I went on to manage a city council campaign and a successful DFL legislative campaign that unseated a longtime Republican incumbent. I worked in the office of DFL Lieutenant Governor, Marlene Johnson as part of her transition team and was a contender for a staff position with the newly-elected Senator,Paul Wellstone. In 1992, I set up and ran an all-volunteer campaign office for Jerry Brown's Democratic presidential bid, taking advantage of free media and creative campaign events, winning in the City of Duluth. In 1994, I was a delegate to the DFL State Convention. Earlier that year I founded the International Workers' Day Committee to stage a worker rally in the Duluth Civic Center each May Day.

I have strong DFL ties and I believe in the economic and social justice principles of the party, more so, I dare say, than many DFL office holders. However, I am no longer a member of the DFL. After a long learning process, I came to believe that I could do more for DFL principles from outside the DFL or any other party. That's what I'm doing, now.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

"That Hurts Me"

Those are the words of Speaker of the House, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, today, when I asked her why she appointed a closet homophobe like Rep. Joe Mullery to chair a committee that all gay rights legislation would have to go through.

As a group of us protested at the entrance to the House chamber at the Capitol this morning, our banner read, "MARGARET! MOVE MARRIAGE EQUALITY HEARING, FEB 12." Soon, the Speaker of the House appeared in front of us, saying that she would talk to Rep. Joe Mullery about getting a hearing but that she doesn't have the power to "fire people," just persuade them. She tried to leave us with the impression that she had no power and that Mullery can do whatever he wants. I said, "Margaret, you appointed him." She said that, "Well, he was a very senior legislator." I said, "Why didn't you appoint him the Public Safety Committee?" She said that that was complicated.

The Civil Justice Committee and the Public Safety Committee were a combined committee, chaired by Mullery until December 2008. Then, the Speaker of the House who has the power to configure committees, split the committee in time for the new biennium. When I first saw this happening, I was very excited because I thought the Speaker of House was paving the way for marriage equality legislation. But, instead of appointing a liberal to head the Civil Justice Committee, the committee that all gay rights legislation would have to go through, she appointed a red neck. When I called her out on this, her only response was to get personal, holding her finger up to me and saying, "That hurts me." Without letting me respond, she fled up the stairs.

Like my Mom always said, "The truth hurts."

Monday, February 01, 2010

No Rest For The Wicked

It is tempting to hunker down in our happy comfortable homes, surrounded by love and pretend that if we don't make a fuss, if we don't raise our voices, if we don't militantly demand justice, that we will be left alone to live our quiet safe little lives. But that is not the case. Playing possum is a fools game because they will come for you. Never mind marriage rights, employment rights, housing rights, etc., the other side is unsatisfied that we merely exist. And they are at work, twenty four hours a day to correct that situation. So we must fight, we must be visible, we must always demand full equality, we must be fierce and we must not relent because the other side is diligent and unceasing in their wretched campaign to destroy us.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teabaggers For Marriage Equality!

As a gay person, giving money to the DFL and expecting to get your civil rights in return is like dropping a quarter in a pay phone and expecting the phone to jump off the wall and dance around.

With 2 to 1 majorities in both houses of the legislature, in the off-election year of 2009, our old friends in the DFL dominated legislature, through buck-passing, foot-dragging and lame-excuse-making did abolutely NOTHING to move marriage equality legislation forward. It was the best opportunity we have had to make progress on marriage equality in Minnesota and it was simply wasted. Why? Well, they pat us on the head, they show up at our Pride events to tell us how great they are, they promise us the moon, but when they get the opportunity to do something, they turn their backs on us because they don't respect us. And, they don't respect us because they think they have nothing for fear from us...and that is OUR FAULT.

Remember last summer when all those clueless, rude, anti-healthcare reform "Teabaggers" flooded town hall meetings across the country, screaming bloody murder and scaring the hell out of the Democrats? Well, they won! We are not going to get meaningful healthcare reform and it is because the Democrats, on a basic level, are too afraid of the militant right wing to do the right thing. It's the same in our case. DFL legislators are afraid of the right wing crazies tying up their phones and staff people with angry rants, and showing up at the Capitol getting up in their faces. Indeed, when I started demonstrating for marriage equality on a daily basis at the Capitol several years ago, I had DFL legislators come up to me and whine, "You're just gonna bring the nuts back!" They fear the nuts so much that they prefer to have us just shut up about our civil rights so they can avoid the right wing activists. This is something we need to learn from. Walking across our backs is the path of least resistance for the DFL. Let's change that by standing up.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

No Room For Equality At DFL Function

Last night I decided to attend the liberal radio AM950 event, the"Blue State Bash" along with my husband and our friend Matt. We brought and quietly displayed a banner that simply urged MN Speaker of the House, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher to move on a marriage equality hearing for February 12. Before long, officials at the well-publicised event, co-sponsored by Kelliher and several other DFL gubernatorial candidates, threw us out of the building into the cold rain. We continued to hold our sign that got rave approval from passersby, until we got too cold to continue. The only public official that came to encourage us was Congressman, Keith Ellison. We asked him to bring our message to the Speaker of the House. He said that he would.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Loring Park Freeway Blogging Parallels DC March

It was refreshing being out freeway blogging again. Duane and I were there with dozens of others perched on that bridge with the long name that connects Loring Park to the Sculpture Garden, flying our flags of dissent. There were massive honks and waves of support from under-passing motorists and one asshole, in the biggest, most Republican SUV I've ever seen, sticking his privileged middle finger up at his fellow citizens that only want the same civil rights he has.

Friday, May 29, 2009

HRC, Good Bye.

Letter to the Human Rights Campaign:

As much as I despise the right wing and Ted Olson's part in it, I believe he is sincere in this effort and this team he is PART of should be supported by the GLBT community.

I am dismayed at HRC's public attempt to obstruct this effort that could result in the nationwide recognition of our right to marry. You should be supporting this.

Of course, there is the risk that the case could fail, but I will accept the assessment of Boies and Olson, experienced constitutional scholars, who see a good chance to win, rather than the predictably overly-cautious response of a gay rights establishment that wants an iron-clad guarantee of success before it will make a move. Life does not work that way. We have to try when the opportunity presents itself and we might fail, but we have to try.

We still don't have ENDA, or hate a crimes law, or an end to DADT, or repeal of DOMA. I now believe that that lack of success is attributable to HRC's overly-cautious attitude as demonstrated over this issue. I will take my chances with Boies/Olson and their brave clients. My husband and I will not continue contributing to your organization.

Doug Benson

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Prop 8

Apparently, a federal suit has been filed on behalf of California gay couples by none other than the former Bush vs Gore adversaries, Ted Olson and David Boies...together. Wierd. Ted Olson stands for everything I despise in this country and he should be watched very carefully. He claims the case would stand a very good chance of success with the Supremes. He claims to support marriage rights and said he was against Bush's anti-gay marriage amendment even though he was Bush's Solicitor General. Maybe he's sincere. We'll be watching.

The suit seeks a preliminary injuction against Prop 8 until the federal suit is resolved. Presumably, if it's granted, same-sex couples could resume getting married as if Prop 8 didn't exist.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Message From The Speaker

Dear Queers,

About Marriage Equality going nowhere this session...SORRY. We're not avoiding dealing with it, it's just that BUDGETS COME FIRST! You can't have civil rights AND A BUDGET! Never mind about Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire passing marriage equality - they don't have budgets to deal with. And then there's healthcare. WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?

Maybe we'll do something next year. Oh wait, that's an election year...SORRY. Two years from now...nope. We'll be just two years from the next election and there might be another Gail Kulick Jackson who's seat we need to protect. SORRY QUEERS! Better luck next decade...or whenever.

And, just let me say for the record, I DID NOT tell the chairman of the Civil Justice Committee, "NO MARRIAGE EQUALITY BILL HEARINGS THIS SESSION." I didn't. The Speaker of the House, who appoints and removes committee chairs, does not have that kind of influence anyway.

Remember, I'm from the gayest district in the state. EVERYBODY knows I LOVE THE GAYS and they love me. Don't be left out. Go to my campaign website and contribute. Did I mention I'm running for governor? Oh yeah, and just imagine how great things will be for the gays if I get into a position of power.

See you all at Pride!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Final Day of Session

Wrapped up final day of protest this morning. Xandra Coe and myself were in attendance. Queers 2, Bigots 0. We win again! Ha ha.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Capitol Protest Sunday

Stand for Marriage Equality at the Capitol from 1:00 to 2:00 today, Sunday, 5/17. Meet on the second floor, north side, at the House of Representatives. Signs available.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Protest

My husband, Duane, at the Capitol today, held our shower curtain that graphically points out the fact that lawmakers are allowing the years to pass while we are held in second class citizenship.

Today's score is: Queers 4 - Bigots 0. The anti-gay crowd never even showed up. I guess they felt overwhelmed yesterday being outnumber 3 to 1 and just couldn't take another day of that.

Yesterday, one of them stuck a piece of filthy, anti-gay hate literature in my bag while my back was turned - while I was fighting for equality. I found it when I got home.

Judy and Xandra joined us at the Senate today with a great sign Xandra made that read, "Is it time for Gay Marriage in Minnesota? YES!" They've been together for 18 years too.


Protest from 11:30 to 2:00. Meet at the House.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The "Stand Off" Continues

Times have changed. The Minnesota Family Council claims 250,000 members across the state. They sent an email to their membership pleading for volunteers to come to the Capitol and protest against Marriage Equality. Three people came yesterday, four today. It is reasonable to presume that these few people who bothered to show up would be the hardcore zealots on their side. Well, they support civil unions. I spoke with them this morning. Four years ago, there were hoards of them at the Capitol praying for us to die and now, the few that show at all, support civil unions!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Stand For Marriage Equality At The Capitol

The first day of Marriage Equality Minnesota's week-long protest, "STAND FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY" was a success. We out-numbered the bigots in the 10 AM to Noon vigil that covered both the House and Senate entrances. The protest continues all week, from 10 to Noon. Greens, Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans were all present and pushing marriage equality. This is a multi-partisan issue that we need to keep in front of legislators in this final week of the session.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday's Protest

No gay-hating bigots with signs today and actually, they didn't even show up at the Senate yesterday - just the House.

While in front of the House this morning, holding the "LET ME MARRY MY PARTNER OF 18 YEARS" shower curtain, Rep. Tom Rukavina from the Range came over chuckling and said something about celebrating my 25th anniversary "here." I exclaimed, jokingly, "Christ, I hope not!" "This better be over with by then!" He said he was sure it would be as he grabbed my shoulder, laughing.

I chatted with Rep. Phyllis Kahn, the House author of our gay marriage bill, who said the bill would get a hearing by the Civil Justice Committee this summer, probably in July.

While protesting at the Senate, I asked Sen. Dibble and Sen. Torres Ray, both co-authors of the Marriage and Family Protection Act, to encourage Sen. Moua, also a co-author, to hold a hearing, soon. Perhaps if she holds a hearing, first, that includes a vote, maybe the House committee will follow suit and hold a vote, as well. The current intention of the House committee is to hold just an "informational" hearing.

We need a demonstration of real intent by the DFL to move this issue forward and a concrete sign of progress like passage by a committee under their control, this year.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Prayer Day Brings Bigots Back To Capitol

When I woke up this morning, MPR was talking about National Prayer Day, so I knew there would be the usual unconstitutional ritual on the Capitol lawn. I brought an appropriate banner for the day. It quotes the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States which reads, "CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION." It doesn't say "A" religion, just "religion," meaning religion in general. So, I was holding that banner up at the entrance to the House and a Rep. came up to me and said, "I like your sign better than theirs." I thanked her and looked around seeing only disability funding advocates. So, I thought wow, what has she got against the disabled? Then later I noticed anti-gay marriage protesters standing right next to me. It's tough to get old.

Well, I switched signs then to, "LEGAL MARRIAGE FOR GAY COUPLES NOW" to make the distiction clear between messages. The bigots came late so nearly everyone was inside when they got there and the doors closed.

The pages I had addressed earlier in the week were gathered around the bigots to hear their rant, in the interest of education. Some of the pages came over after a while to tell me what the others were saying. One of the pages must have been getting into it with the bigots because Steve, the page director, had to drag him away by the arm. Later, the young man came back to tell me the bigots said that if we get gay marriage, their anti gay speech will be criminalized. Wouldn't that be nice. I told him, "The First Amendment protects their hate speech and they will be able to show up at the Capitol like they're doing today until hell freezes over. However, it may become socially unacceptible to speak disrepectfully about gays just the way it has become unacceptible to speak disrepectfully about black people and women. That's what they're afraid of." If that's their defense, that, boohoo, they will no longer feel comfortable pubicly advocating for our elimination, we've won.

They were still there when I left for coffee, which is where I am now. I'm headed back to do the Senate at 11:30. Not looking forward to this. I'm sure the nuts will be there in force praying for me to die.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wednesday's Protest

I used the "LET ME MARRY MY PARTNER OF 18 YEARS" shower curtain today, as yesterday. It really seems to touch people.

No DFL Caucus today on the House side so everyone just wandered in. I like that better. It gives me a chance to chat with people. When they come from caucus, they go by in a big herd and I miss contact with a lot of them.

Kelly Lewis from OutFront was there today. I've never seen her lobbying before. She was there for the House vote on the anti-bullying bill and didn't seem optimistic.

During the break, I had coffee at Amore Coffee in St. Paul. Never been there before. It's very good and very gay.

The Senate only started twenty minutes late. That was okay because I got to see just about everybody. Monica Meyer stopped by to inform me of the exciting Maine news. She had the message on her Blackberry and was very elated. Me too. It was fun telling some of the Senators the news. It really is great to be protesting for marriage equality at the Capitol and getting news about another state doing what should have been done here years ago.

Maine Goes Gay Marriage

Their governor signed the bill today. Yay! That makes five. Is NH next?

The House meets at 9:30 tomorrow and the Senate at Noon. I'll be there at the usual times.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Today's Protest

Had an encounter with Senator Bonoff on the Senate stairs. We were alone and I said hi as she was about to descend. She reciprocated and added, " It doesn't look like there'll be a vote this session. I agreed and said "I still have this clone (duplicate marriage equality bill) bill with me if you'd like to sign on.". She declined to sign on but said she'd vote for it. Not THIS session, I guess.

House Meets 9:30 All Week

I'll try to be there at 9:00 each day. The Senate meets at Noon. Time for coffee and there at 11:30!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday Live Capitol Blog

Finished the Senate protest. Bob, the security guy told me there was a busload of couples that went to Dubuque over the weekend to get married. Scott Dibble told of ten couples getting hitched today.

Well, off to the House.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Monday, 5/4, Senate Meets 11:00; House Noon

I'll be there to protest at 10:30 Senate and 11:30 House. If you don't show up, they get to ignore gay marriage...