Shower Curtain Chronicles: May 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.

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...