Shower Curtain Chronicles: April 2008

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.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


This is the modified version of the Marriage Equality bill that I brought to the legislature in March. It will make gay marriage legal in Minnesota. Ten legislators have signed onto it and it is to be introduced in both houses of the legislature before the end of the 2008 legislative session. Click on each page to read it in full size.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Shower Curtain

"I WANT MY CIVIL MARRIAGE RIGHTS"" will make it's debut on Monday at 12:30 in front of the House and at 1:00 adorning the entrance to the Senate chamber. No doubt some will find it too pushy. Lawmakers in this state are used to a flaccid gay rights structure that is more than willing to indulge their slightest anxieties. Some seem to think that having everyone "calmed down" is the way to affect change. Nothing could be further from the truth.

No word on homofascist activities yesterday. If there were any, it wasn't covered.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Homofascists Stir In House

While protesting in front of the House this morning, Rep. Linda Slocum stopped to tell me that Republican Rep. Torrey Westrom was going to make some noise about gay marriage today. Haven't heard anything yet but I did stop Rep. Kahn on her way in to give her the news. I told her I thought we should drop our bill in immediately but she refused, reassuring me that it would be dropped in before the end of the session. More later.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday's Protest

I made both chambers. Had a conversation with Senator Rick Olseen on the Senate stairs. He recounted his meeting with gay constituents on gay rally day. He said he favors "baby steps" on marriage equality then, sympathetically, related a gay couple's fears of what might happen to them as a result of not having the protections of legal marriage. I hope he makes the connection and forgets the baby steps. He's a good guy and I believe he'd vote for legal marriage, given the chance. It's a civil rights issue.

Tomorrow the House meets at 9:00 again and the Senate at 10:00.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wednesday, House Meets 9:00; Senate 11:00

Yesterday while I was in front of the House, a small group of young boys with youngish man passed by. One of the kids must have asked the adult what gay marriage was because I heard him explaining to one of the boys, who was in his face and hanging on every word the man said, that "It's when two men or two women want to..." then trailed off. Good for him.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rally Day

It was a normal protest day for me except on the way up the steps to the Capitol, I ran into Monica Meyer, Outfront MN's legislative director. We had a chat about my bill and Outfront's new plan to push for Marriage Equality. She outlined the numerous components Outfront's campaign would involve. I told her my bill will be introduced this session, that I think it will help any effort Outfront undertakes in this area and that I want Outfront to succeed.

When I got inside, the hall in front of the House was full of queers waiting for their representatives to come out of the chamber to meet with their groups. The "GAY MARRIAGE IN MINNESOTA IN 2008" shower curtain was well received. There were also Outfront staff (or volunteers) stickering lawmakers as they passed. Even some Republicans accepted and wore the stickers.

I was happy to run into my old friend, Pete Golden at the rally. He came down from Duluth on a chartered bus. There were about as many people at the rally as there were last year. We listened and applauded the speakers. Senator Marty was not asked to speak this surprise there I guess. He might have mentioned the gay marriage bill he's introducing.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Monday, House 1:30; Senate 2:00

That'll be a nice change.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Big Smiles For New Banner

No strokes over the bold new shower curtain... that I'm aware of. "GAY MARRIAGE IN MINNESOTA IN 2008" was well received. There were some school groups that passed while I was at the Senate. A few of the kids giggled nervously when they read the sign, but two girls took each others hand. They were maybe ten years old. It was cute. Later, an older lesbian in a Hawaian shirt gave me a big thumbs up after she read the sign.

Tomorrow, both bodies meet at 11:00. The Outfront rally is at Noon. I'll be at both.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wednesday- House Meets 9:00; Senate 12:00

I will make both bodies, debuting a new shower curtain, "GAY MARRIAGE IN MINNESOTA IN 2008.". Just a little optimistic desensitization. I hope nobody has a stroke.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Monday, House Meets 12:30; Senate, 1:00

There at Noon.

Friday, April 11, 2008


The Senate Majority Leader's office, after being harranged by Outfront Minnesota, weighed in at the last minute before Monday's planned drop-in, to express disapproval that a Marriage Equality bill was being introduced this session. Thankfully, the two senior lawmakers carrying this bill are absolutely committed to introducing it this session and I believe they will do so. I was convinced of that fact after Senator Marty called me yesterday to assure me of their commitment, however, they will delay the introduction of the bill until closer to the end of the session.

Since there is little chance of the bill passing this session, introducing it later will still have the same effect, which is to break the ice on Marriage Equality with a bold move in a low pressure (deadlines have passed) legislative environment, paving the way for a continued effort next year.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

House, Senate Meet 11:00, Thursday

Pawlenty vetoed every transit project in the bonding bill because he got overridden on the transportation bill earlier this session. Such reckless behavior warrants impeachment.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Today's Protest

They had the velvet ropes out in front of the House today, probably because there was a large rowdy protest with 500 college students in the rotunda...something about healthcare. I thanked Phyllis Kahn for taking the lead on the MARRIAGE AND FAMILY PROTECTION ACT and told her I could continue lining up sponsors, if she wanted. She said, "Mike has it," and that we have to be careful of Outfront. I told her that their stuff is progressing quickly. I left before they closed the doors so I could make the Senate.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

House Meets 12:30; Senate 1:00 Monday

I'm going to see if I can get the bill jacket from Rep. Kahn on Monday so I can try and wrangle some more House sponsors. I really hate lobbying but it's my bill so I have to do it. Fortunately, I don't have to register because I'll never reach the spending threshold. I'll get there early and protest at the usual times.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thursday's Protest

Nothing exceptional happened in front of the House. They were nearly a half hour late getting started but considering that they were in session until 2:30 the next morning... The lead engineer asked where I'd been. He never fails to come over and say hi to the protester. Another good egg. Rep. Erin Murphy looked at me earnestly on her way into the chamber and said, "I'm glad you're here." You can't beat that for a shot in the arm.

I walked over to Senate side before I left, just to see if the doors were still open. They were, so I set up shop with the smaller "MAKE MY FAMILY LEGAL" sign. Welfare Rights was there too so I didn't want to take up too much room. The DFL was still caucusing when I got there so I was able to catch most of them when they finished and marched up the treacherous Senate stairs. Everyone made it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

House, Senate Meet At 10:00 Tomorrow

Since I did the Senate but skipped the House today, I'll be at the House at 9:30, tomorrow.

After having missed a few sessions at the Capitol because Duane and I were in Chicago, one of the Senate security guys came up to me today while I as protesting and said they were wondering what had happened to me. I told him I was in Chicago for a few days and jested that protesters need vacations too. He said they were worried so they sent out the state police to check on me. I'm not sure if he was kidding but I was touched, none the less. They're a good bunch.

Senator Marty stopped by on the stairs to say the Municipal Domestic Partner Benefits bill passed the Senate. I'm glad for Outfront's success. It's all to the good.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Now Marriage Bill To be Introduced April 14

Senate and House sponsors agreed on delaying introduction to accomodate Outfront Minnesota's wishes for more time to clear their municipal domestic partner benefits bill. The sponsors understand that Outfront does NOT want to see a Marriage Equality bill introduced so they will not allow Outfront to stall indefinitely and have set a deadline for introduction. Good.

House meets at 9:00; Senate at Noon. I'll make the Senate session.