Friday, November 9, 2012

MN Senate Majority Leader Bakk, House Speaker Thissen, and Governor Dayton are spineless, will not put the people's choice into law...

Please read to the end, contact info for the spineless officials are at the bottom.

Thomas Bakk says marriage for gays must take a back seat.

I was rather pissed at seeing this, so I found the new Majority Leader's email and fired off an email.

A copy below is my email exchange with Senate Majority Leader Thomas Bakk, (DFL-MN).

First email:

Mr's Bakk & Thissen,

I've gotten reports from the media that the both of you are attempting to "not legalize it in the immediate future", saying that budget considerations were more important.

When the marriage bill in Washington State was being debated in the Legislature, the WA Legislature had no problem addressing both marriage equality & the budget at the same time. 

 "You know, I'm not going to deny this isn't probably one of the more difficult legislative sessions in history, but I multitask every day, and legislators do as well....I will tell you one thing that would be reprehensible is the idea that we would say to someone "'I'm sorry, we're going to continue to deny you equality because of a budget problem.'" -Governor Chris Gregoire, WA State.

Right now, individual gay couples have ZERO protections afforded to them by their state government.    Every single day of marriage being withheld from gay couples is a cost to their time, their finances, and their ability to function within society as equals....

Simply put, 51% of the Minnesota voting population has rejected discrimination against gays for marriage.    You, as the leadership of the Minnesota House & Senate, should put their voice into law, immediately.   When New Jersey introduced marriage equality, the House & Senate filings were HF1 & SF1.  You should do the same.

Your budget is not due until July, and you can walk & chew bubble gum at the same time, as the Washington Legislature and Governor Gregoire did.   The people of the state of Minnesota have spoken, and saying "Well, we attacked the Republicans for keeping social issues first and not economic" is a cop-out.   There were Republican supporters of marriage equality during the campaign against Amendment 1, and some of them supported marriage in the Legislature.

Grow a spine, quit prevaricating, and make this happen.  Some gay couples can't afford to wait until late 2013 or early 2014....

-Gray Peterson

I got this back

On 11/9/2012 4:06 AM, Sen.Tom Bakk wrote:
Gray. The tone of your email and your charge of Paul and I being spineless is unwarranted and not an effective way to advocate for issues important to you


Shot this back:


With all due respect, my tone & my charge is absolutely warranted.  Unless there is some sort of rule in the Senate or House rules requiring consideration of the budget first to the absolute exclusion of all other matters, there is no reason to not consider both issues at the same time, as the Washington State Legislature did with their Governor (which if you bothered to actually watch the YouTube video, made the same point I'm making).   Traffic light laws can wait.  There is also no reason why you as the new Senate leader cannot take a leading role in making this happen, as Senate President Sweeney in New Jersey did earlier this year.

If I may quote,
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
-Martin Luther King Jr, "Letters from the Birmingham Jail", 1963.

Though the experiences of Mr. King were rooted from a different manner (racial discrimination), the root is common in terms of bigotry against one's fellow man.
The state of Minnesota has been stained with the decision in Baker v. Nelson.   It also was stained with the disgrace that occurred with the Anoka-Hennepin School District where several kids perceived to be gay were bullied to suicide:

Though a lawsuit was filed and the "No Promo Homo" policy was struck in settlement, the core of the reason that kids think they can bully gay kids is because the state gives license to them to discriminate by treating them differently in law & in fact.   Every day that this continues is another day where the bullying culture against gay people are given a license by state to continue.

Not to mention, the various older gay couples who cannot afford to wait; couples where one partner may be sick and cannot as a matter of statutory right add their spouse to their health insurance, among other things (the 515 state rights, benefits, responsibilities, along with the federal responsibilities when DOMA Section 3 is struck).

The people of Minnesota have spoken.  It is inconceivable that anyone who voted NO on Amendment 1 would support the continued exclusion from the fundamental right of marriage in state law. 

I'm just a guy who's making a demand as one of the oppressed who is asking an member of the oppressor class (a state legislator) to stop doing what their doing, quickly.  I am not a lobbyist, just a guy who's seeing what's you're being quoted by the AP as total bovine excrement.   I'll say it again: The people of the State of Minnesota have spoken against discrimination, and when they spoke, they helped put you and the DFL back in the majority.

Not one more day should the 1977 or 1997 Minnesota DOMA's be law.  It's that simple.

Not impressed with the walk backs by the Minnesota DFL Leadership, who won majority status in both houses because the Republicans miscalculated what would happen in 2012 and the gay allies vote brought them the majority.

Voters had to affirmatively vote NO in order to block this amendment from passing.  It is inconcievable that more than a handful of voters voted no but continue to support SSM exclusion.  It was not about "The Amendment Process is an inappropriate way" and avoiding the Governor.

Stop being a spineless coward, Senator Bakk.  You can walk & chew bubble gum at the same time.

If you want to complain about this spinelessness (a big plus if you're a Minnesota resident or frequent visitor), please complain to the following people:

Senator Bakk's Email
Speaker Rep Paul Thissen's Contact Info
Governor Mark Dayton's Contact Form
Democratic Farmer Labor Leadership Page, for Emails to Chair Ken Martin & Vice Chair Marge Hoffa, as well as State Party Outreach Officer Eric Margolis

Let's get this done, folks.

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