How peer-to-peer networking tool Amicus helped activists in Minnesota and Washington win same-sex-marriage campaigns
First, businesses have exquisitely fine-tuned nervous systems capable of detecting shifts in demographic trends, cultural norms, economic conditions, and social needs. Every purchase or sale of a product or service contains information — hundreds, thousands, even millions of bits of information a day — and the ability to decode and interpret and act on that information translates immediately into a corporation’s top and bottom lines.
Compare that to the feedback information available to politicians — elections every two to four years. Those are blunt instruments, by contrast. In a world changing as quickly as ours is today, business executives are light-years ahead of politicians when it comes to knowing, in real time, about what is going on in society. This was demonstrated by the gap between the business community’s understanding of Minnesota’s attitudes towards same-sex marriage and that of the politicians who put the ill-fated amendment on the ballot. A few weeks before the election, a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune pointed to the benefit policies of leading Minnesota corporations, which uniformly recognize and offer benefits to same-sex partners, and suggested the issue raised by the marriage amendment “was decided a long time ago” — by businesses, not by politicians.
|—||Why Minnesota CEOs Said No to Banning Same-Sex Marriage (h/t @swirlspice)|
In an emotional and historic contest, Minnesota voters defeated the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, making Minnesota the only state to defeat such a ballot measure.
Read more from reporter Sasha Aslanian and see more photos from Nikki Tundel and Caroline Yang here.
In other news:
“It’s common sense,” declare billboards encouraging Minnesotans to support voter ID in the upcoming election. Presumably supporters of the marriage amendment also regard it as “common sense” to define marriage as being “solely between one man and one woman.”
From a political standpoint, I can understand why supporters of voter ID are using the “common sense” line. It resonates with many Minnesotans’ impression of themselves as being responsible, down-to-earth citizens. With its explicit appeal to the common denominator, though, the “common sense” logic is alarmingly similar to the kind of logic that might have been employed to defend previous American injustices.
“Of course women aren’t suitable for voting or holding public office. Their realm is the home! It’s just common sense.”
“Naturally one must be able to read and write if one is to be informed enough to vote. That’s simply common sense!”
“There’s nothing wrong with separate but equal schooling—it’s equal, right? Of course it’s best to keep people of different races separate when it comes to education; that’s plain common sense.”
You know who was uncommon? Harriet Tubman. Susan B. Anthony. Martin Luther King. Harvey Milk.
There are some proudly uncommon names in Minnesota history too.
It was uncommon for Roy Wilkins to lead the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People through the hardest days of the Civil Rights Movement.
It was uncommon for Eugene McCarthy to stand up to President Johnson and declare the Vietnam War an atrocity that needed to end.
It was uncommon for Hubert Humphrey to take the podium at the 1948 Democratic National Convention and make a passionate speech insuring that his party would take a stand in favor of civil rights.
“To those who say,” Humphrey declared, “that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years late! To those who say, this civil rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: the time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights!”
If it was late then, it’s far later now. If it’s now “common sense” to turn back the clock and disenfranchise a group of disproportionately poor, minority voters in the name of solving a fictional problem, if it’s now “common sense” to amend our state constitution to reinforce a discriminatory law that’s already in effect, then the time has come for Minnesotans to remember the lessons of our proudly progressive legacy and to be uncommon once again.
I can imagine one of the disciples—let’s say Thomas—hopping in a time machine and speeding almost two thousand years into the future and discovering the world as we see it today. After admiring the remarkable advancements in technology, medicine, the arts and the incredible societal stability we have achieved I’m sure Thomas would be interested in our churches. What, dear friends, are our churches talking about?
Firstly, we talk about Jesus. Well, that’s good!
And what are we telling people that Jesus is concerned about? Sex.
Didn’t you know, Thomas? Jesus was really concerned about sex, especially gay sex, and very especially the sanctity of marriage.
Uh… I really don’t think…
Shut up, Thomas. I’m telling you about Jesus.
- Pastor Frank Johnson, “The church and marriage, part II”
This is great! I heard the vote yes commercials on Cities 97 today and I was wondering about this. Turns out those commercials are playing on every station except the Current. :-P
I’ve heard a really short (maybe 15 seconds) spot on Cities 97 for Vote No, and have been lucky enough to not hear a Vote Yes on there at all. Maybe Vote No chose to focus their money on conversations and phone calls and Vote Yes focused on billboards and radio spots. My perception is there are a lot more volunteers, especially in the Cities, available to work for Vote No, which would make it easier to do conversation-based activism. I know a significant amount of money for Vote Yes was expected to come from out of the state, which would make radio spots & billboards easier to get. This is just my theory, though.
Being able to avoid commercials, especially during election season, is one of the many many reasons I love listening to member supported music on The Current :)
1. Your church will never have to hold any kind of wedding it doesn’t want to.
2. You’re right to be stuck on the word “marriage.”
3. Marriage has always evolved.
4. It really is about “separate but equal.”
The whole lovely world’s gone orange
and my soul sings with ineffable and unrhymeable joy.
House by house they stand up for us.
Yard by yard promises,
"The someday of which you dream
is not so very far away.”
When we get married,
I don’t want rice or doves or bubbles,
and I don’t care if you wear white.
What I want is this feeling
of coming home, not just to you,
but to a whole city full of people
who live the word prevenience:
"we welcome you, we love you,
we support you
even before you picked the china patterns.”
[On November 6th, the Minnesotan ballot will include Amendment 1: ”The constitution shall be amended to define marriage as between one man and one woman.” The above signs are from yards, businesses, and churches in our south Minneapolis neighborhood, urging passerby to vote No against marriage inequality.]