Shower Curtain Chronicles: April 2009

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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday 4/27's Protest

Yesterday, I was joined at the Capitol by a living monument to gay rights activism in Minnesota, Robert Halfhill. He was an organizer of the first gay rights organizations in Minnesota back in the 1960s and has been a vigorous and tireless activist ever since. His sign drew many nods of agreement.

We protested at the Senate first, until the doors closed. While there, I had a brief conversation with Sen. Moua and expressed our desire to see a hearing on the Marriage and Family Protection Act before the session ends. Something might happen.

On the House side, we were joined by about thirty other protesters. Most of them were the disability funding advocates but some were Welfare Rights Committee folks. They're all getting screwed in this budget.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Monday 4/27 Senate Meets 11:00; House Noon

I'll be at the Senate at 10:30; House 11:30.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Live At The Capitol

The House delayed their start by an hour. Oh, my aching back. I guess they were here until 1:30 last night, hence the delay. I chatted with Rep. Phyllis Kahn for a while. She holds out hope for a hearing in the House this session. Hope she's right.

Waiting now to start on the Senate side. Just chatted with Matt, one of four lobbyists working for the City of Minneapolis. He's not the one who is pushing marriage equality as part of the city's agenda, but he tells me there is one. He was telling me that Sen. Scott Dibble's office is getting a lot of viscious hate mail from opponents of the bullying bill. No doubt they're concerned about their "right" to harrass and intimidate. Nice folks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lobby Day Morning Protest

I started at the House and moved over to the Senate when the doors closed. I addressed a group of volunteer pages this morning. Steve, the director of the page program usually brings the new groups over to me. They gather around as I stand there with the shower curtain and I introduce myself as the Protester Exhibit. It's always good for a chuckle. I give them a quick explanation of why I'm there; "I'm here because I think same-sex couples should have the same ability to legally marry as, etc... " They're always interested and very polite. Some express support. At the end, I always thank them for volunteering as pages and tell them why I think it's important, then Steve leads them away.

Well, I'm at Black Dog having coffee right now, but I'm headed back to the Capitol for the Lobby Day Rally.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Senate/House Both Meet At 9:30

There at 9:00. Probably at the House.

Live Capitol Blog

I just finished protesting at the House entrance. Disability funding advocates were back protesting. Good! I wish there was a thousand of them. When our humanity is the focus of lawmakers, we all benefit.

The security guys were razzing me for being late this morning. Apparantly, my "pay" will be docked after I'm tazered. : ) I told them I'd be missing a few days while I'm out of town on business, soon. I do this because last year they had the State Patrol check up on me, out of concern, when I didn't show up for a few days. Good guys.

See everyone at Lobby Day tomorrow.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Afternoon House Protest

I got there a little late and my usual spot was taken by disability funding advocates which turned out to be good because my being in a new location resulted in more people noticing the new banner (left). Rep. Karen Clark, the longest serving openly lesbian lawmaker in the country, was tickled by the message and thanked me for bringing it. A lobbyist and former legislator sidled up and told me he thought the message should embarrass Minnesota legislators, but he doubted they would get it. Karen got it. I got a similar reaction to the message from former senator, Roger Moe last week. He was really amused by it. He also said he thought that in ten years there would be marriage equality across the country. I told him, "I hope you're right."
There were a couple of camera crews on hand at the House today, KSTP and WCCO, plus radio reporters from other stations. They were seeking the House Tax Committee chair. I suspect they were preparing to pounce on the DFL for proposing to add a new 4th tax bracket that would include married couples making upwards of $300,000 per year. Heaven forbid rich people should be fairly taxed.
It was a good day at the Capitol with many positive experiences...glad I went.

Monday Morning At the Senate

Lots of visitors in the building today so I used the "LEGAL MARRIAGE FOR GAY COUPLES NOW" shower curtain. It's explicit enough for the non-legislator to understand the purpose of my being there.

Had a nice conversation with a man who testified at the anti-bullying bill hearing. He was anti-choice and didn't believe in marriage equality, but civil unions. He didn't really seem to have thought it out. It can be so disheartening to talk to gay people who are so conditioned by society to think of themselves as lesser beings that they oppose their own equality.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Monday 4/20, Senate Meets 11:00; House 1:00

Protesting at 10:30 Senate; 12:30 House. Come on down!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Capitol Protest 4/14/09 a Success

Thank you to all who participated in the protest. We had enough people to dominate the hall outside the House chamber and legislators noticed. Some commented on the growing number of marriage equality protests and protesters.

Participants included a group that came all the way up from Mankato and a representative of the Log Cabin Republicans.

This event was a success and a nice lead-in to Outfront's Lobby Day next week on the 23rd. Let's keep the momentum growing!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


In a joint press conference held by Speaker of House, Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader, Larry Pogemiller today, it was announced that they would seek a suspension of committee deadline rules so the Marriage and Family Protection Act could proceed to committee hearings and floor votes in both houses of the legislature.

The DFL leaders said that a generation of gay marriage bashing by the right wing is enough and the time for action on marriage equality is now. "The DFL will not stand by and allow this state to continue discriminating against thousands of gay families who's only demand is equality," said Speaker Kelliher. Senator Pogemiller said, "We have the power to bring the legislative branch into alignment with the founding principles of this country and the consciences of all good and fair minded people. Because the DFL has the numbers needed, we have the responsibility to pass this bill. To vote to end discrimination is our duty regardless of a likely veto by the governor. History will shine brightly on our actions."

When asked if the DFL feared retribution at the polls in 2010, Speaker Kelliher said, "We are not here to be re-elected. We are here to do the right thing."