Because the long arc of the universe bends toward justice.

Archive for the ‘social_change’ Category

Marriage equality: Actions

Possible actions to take in advance of 2012 vote on defining (restricting) marriage

1. Travel across Minnesota, asking allies and supportive faith communities to host Open Houses or Round Tables

  • How to talk about the issue
  • How to host Open Houses

2. Travel across Minnesota, reaching out especially to people who are struggling with the issue

  • Do they know about the proposed constitutional amendment?
  • Do they know how the issue would affect same-sex committed couples?
  • Among their circle of friends, do they have someone who is in a same-sex relationship?
  • What would help them clarify the issues? How can I/we help?

3. Have communities of GLBT people participate in community actions that aren’t about GLBT issues.

  • Wear same colored shirt.
  • Identify when a donation is made by a member of the GLBT community and/or by a committed/married same-sex couple.

4. Interview and record/video straight married couples, especially in Iowa but also in D.C. and in other states that legally recognize all married couples.

  • Seek couples who can affirm that their marriage hasn’t been threatened, hurt, or undermined by same-sex marriage.
  • Seek a diversity of couples.

5. Create a series of small booklets, pamphlets, or tracts that address various topics.

  • Marriage equality
  • Threats to marriage
  • Living with being conflicted
  • Being socialized without our consent
  • Married couples living side by side
  • Marriage, love, and gender
  • Making nice with marriage in Minnesota
  • Personal story, whatever it may be

6. Work within your house of worship to host a joint/simultaneous Renewal of Vows for all couples, while also demonstrating a witness for marriage equality.

  • Invite the public to attend.
  • In the program/press release, have information about the upcoming vote on the proposed constitutional amendment and, for transparency, what the arguments are on both sides.
  • Have some way to increase the level of accountability for attenders/participants to advocate for marriage equality and to get the message out to vote NO in 2012.

NOTE: The idea for this sort of action comes from the Quakers at Milwaukee Friends Meeting from a few years ago and from this June 2011 article by an African American pastor who is in a heterosexual interracial marriage.

7. Create webpages or websites dedicated to certain themes or concepts.

  • A visual image to address the 515 rights denied same-sex couples in Minnesota: An expandable file with tabs. Click on the tab and an expanded description of that item pops up. The “description” could be a personal true story that illustrates the right that is taken for granted by straight couples but is denied to same-sex couples, regardless of how long their commitment and life together has been. (ex. My friend’s story of how, when her partner of 28 years died, the people who came to remove the body asked, “Who’s the next of kin?” My friend replied, “I am,” but the people there said, “No you’re not,” and on the death certificate, her marital status was listed as “Single.”
  • The changes to the institution of marriage, made visually interesting. Something like an image side by side with passages from Scripture that describe marriage.
  • A flow chart, showing the deterioration of rights when a law or constitutional amendment is passed that disadvantages or punishes a group that doesn’t conform to or look like the majority/those in power
  • Messages we’ve “inherited” or have been indoctrinated by, simply by the process of socialization and structural racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, etc.

Marriage equality: Messages and quips

Ideas to be used in print advertisements, video, leaflets, TV ads, etc.

1. Don’t mess with Minnesota Nice.

2. It’s not nice to vote on someone else’s relationship.

3. Marriage is about love, not about gender.

4. Same-sex marriage doesn’t threaten marriage. Divorce, affairs, and irreconcilable differences do.

5. Your anonymous vote hurts my marriage.

6. A vote to define marriage as being only between a man and a woman is like a big bully who preys on other kids just because they’re different.

7. Groups that say that same-sex marriage goes against the Bible or hurts children are crying Wolf. This time, Minnesota, let’s not listen to their false alarms.

8. The Catholic Church is deliberately working to insert their own religious beliefs into how Minnesotans are to be governed. (See Catholic writer Richard Rodriguez’ comments here.)

9. Keep the Catholic Church in the church, not the bedroom.

10. If religious people want all Americans to be authentic and truthful, then GLBT people must be encouraged to be fully who we are with access to full and equal protections, rights, and privileges afforded all citizens.

Marriage equality: Video ideas


    Sounding the “Protect Our Children/Protect Marriage” alarm is the equivalent of Crying Wolf.

    Compare the recent history of ads in other states as “crying wolf.” Interview married straight couples who have lived “side by side” with legally/equally recognized same-sex couples–especially from IA–to talk about how/whether same-sex marriage has threatened their own straight marriage and/or their kids.


    Show a person going into a voting booth. Person pulls out a sheet of paper with a list of “Reasons for amendment” and “Reasons against amendment” (be careful to align “for” and “against” with choices that relate directly to the choices on the ballot). Person hovers over the proposed amendment; zoom in on reasons. Last one or two on “Reasons against” say,

    “The DOMA law already hurts many Minnesotans. This will hurt more.” and “Equality is coming.” Person circles one or the other; checks box/fills in circle for NO.

    Alternate ending: Voter fills in YES, acts uncertain, goes to turn in ballot but before doing so, goes up to election judge instead: “I made a mistake and need a new ballot.”


    Identify outstanding scholars and athletes who are middle school, high school, and college students, as well as talented and gifted younger kids, maybe even young adults, who were raised by same-sex couples. Be sure to include children of color. Also identify kids from straight couples. Mix them together, maybe a line of 30-50 of them, or flash their faces one at a time. Then ask the question,

    “Can you tell which of these outstanding, talented children are from households with two parents of the same gender? Children don’t grow into healthy adults because they have a mother and a father. They grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults because they are loved for who they are.”

Equality is coming, whether you like it or not.

In the face of our own growing awareness of how unearned privilege goes unchecked in American society, the two of us–Jeanne and Liz–are writing more, participating in events more, and speaking out more.  All in the name of equality and social change.

This blog may be short-lived or it may last our lifetimes.  It’s intended to be a place to gather ideas, link to online articles and videos, and share our own thoughts and activities as they relate to working for justice, be it marriage equality, economic justice, undoing White privilege, or some yet-to-be-named movement.

Thanks for joining us.

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