Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MN Capitol

#1 – I spent most of the day at the capitol, and then this evening tuned in via internet, to observe the committee meetings on the Freedom to Marry Act.   This bill would allow same-sex couples to be seen as equal human beings under Minnesota law.  I found the day touching, encouraging and heart-opening.  It is not often that we have the chance to give people such a simple, yet profound gift.  I am grateful to all the legislators and citizens who understand this.  Additionally, I understand that some people are afraid.  It seems important to honor this as well.  I was especially touched by the testimony of Representative Tina Liebling of Rochester and Melissa Hortman of Brooklyn Park.  

#2 - Lynne Osterman – a former Republican representative in MN.  She began her testimony before the committee and I wasn’t clear what side she was on.  Osterman said she served as a Republican because of her interest in a smaller government, but for a politically expedient vote, she voted for DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).  She has regretted that vote ever since.  She asked the committee members to lead in fairness and respectfulness and not do what is politically expedient.  Her sincerity brought me to tears and I was reminded again that it is through our vulnerability that our strength shines through.  

Osterman’s rockin'testimony -

#3 – The pastor of Lyndale United Church who stated in April of 2006 their congregation decided to no longer perform civil/religious marriages until ALL marriages are recognized.  Instead they perform blessing ceremonies.

#4 – The bills passed the committees.  In the next couple months it will go for a vote.  If you live in MN and you’d like your legislator to hear what you think, here is a link to find who represents you.  You can call them and leave a message whether you are for the Freedom to Marry Act, or against it.  I went to my legislator’s office to ask his aide because I wasn’t certain of his vote.  He happened to be standing there, so I talked to him instead.  He said if it comes to a floor vote (which it will because of today) he will vote for it. 

#5– Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, has a piece in the Washington Post asking it to be overturned.

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