As decreed by St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman the day the MN Senate passed the freedom to marry. I had to drive it.
Had ENDA passed in 1996—well, that’s a counterfactual that boggles the mind. There’s a reason that we’ve won civil unions or marriage only in states that have first passed statewide nondiscrimination laws. We only win relationship recognition when people know gay people. But too many people are afraid to come out on the job if they might lose that job for being gay. That’s a double whammy: Not only do you have to lie, implicitly, at work, leaving your daily life fraught with anxiety and your income a bit at risk; you also lose your ability to wear down others’ anti-gay prejudice. People change their minds about whether we deserve recognition for our relationships only when they realize that they like us and our partners. Once they realize that the gays they ostensibly hate include Mary Beth in accounting and Jamal in HR, that hatred starts to soften. And once Mary Beth and Jamal know they can keep feeding their families once they’re out, they are more likely to feel comfortable introducing you to their partners at the grocery store or at church, and explaining how much a statewide DOMA would hurt their kids. Had nationwide job protections been in place since 1996, it’s possible to imagine we’d be even farther along with marriage in still more states, as more people realized they cared about their gay colleagues.
This is a really thorough, clear, explanation of the religious exemption in Minnesota’s freedom to marry bill. Dale Carpenter has been an expert voice on this issue for years.
TL;DR: Whatever concerns you have about religious exemptions surrounding same-sex marriage are actually concerns about the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and extending marriage to same-sex couples doesn’t change anything on those grounds.
This was published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Which means you probably won’t be able to access this op-ed in a few weeks. So if you’re not reading it right now, Instapaper it or put it wherever you put those sorts of things. It’s such a good reference, I’ve saved it so I can refer back to it.
The roll call vote in the Minnesota state House on the freedom to marry bill. It passed 75-59.
The moment when night ends and a new day begins is the moment when you look into the face of a stranger and see the face of your brother.
I wanted to save my own account of the proceedings for posterity. I’m glad there was a happy ending! 75-59 in favor of the bill. Minnesota is on its way to become the 12th state to achieve the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
New Spock vs Old Spock in an Audi commercial. SO GREAT.
Such favoritism has a strong racial component. Through such seemingly innocuous networking, white Americans tend to help other whites, because social resources are concentrated among whites. If African-Americans are not part of the same networks, they will have a harder time finding decent jobs.
The mechanism that reproduces inequality, in other words, may be inclusion more than exclusion. And while exclusion or discrimination is illegal, inclusion or favoritism is not — meaning it can be more insidious and largely immune to legal challenges.