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.