Over Pronto Pups, Marriage Fight Foes Woo Voters

Minnesotans United for All Families and Minnesota For Marriage are both jockeying for attention on Cooper Street at the Minnesota State Fair.

Foreshadowing what could be a close vote this November, the main groups rallying for and against a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota are within shouting distance at the State Fair.

Minnesotans United for All Families, which opposes the amendment, and Minnesota for Marriage, which supports it, are both jockeying for hearts and minds with booths on Cooper Street between Wright and Dan Patch avenues.

Casey Warren, of Bloomington, said on Wednesday that she came out to support the amendment because of her 47-year marriage and six children. She worries what effect gay marriage will have on generations to come.

“To me it’s about the children. If you allow the children to be part of same sex parents, they’re going to be affected in big ways,” Warren said. 

Warren, who volunteered at the Minnesota for Marriage booth with her husband, said she’s a Republican but not active in the party—although she is active in her church. But she worked at the fair because she wanted to ensure marriage remains between a man and a woman.

“As we’ve seen with other states, judges have seen fit to overturn those statutes,” she said.

Down the way, Jay Pearson of St. Louis Park said he's fighting against the amendment because of his own long-term relationship. He's been with his partner for 42 years.

“Marriage isn’t a romantic thing for us, it’s a benefits thing,” Pearson said, adding that as he and his partner age, he wants to make sure there aren't obstacles to taking care of each other.

Pearson said he's been encouraged by the conversations he's had with fair-goers.

“It’s really heart-filling to see the positive support we’re getting at the fair,” he said.

So far, the proximity of the two booths hasn't caused any problems. Warren said she hadn’t seen exchanges between amendment proponents and opponents spark any incidents—adding that most of the group’s opponents were civil. Barb Maresh, a Blaine resident who touts her 55-year marriage and six children, said they don’t bear the other side ill will.

“We don’t dislike these people. We don’t have bad feelings about them. I have people in my family that are (homosexual),” Maresh said.  

Pearson and Stephen Schreiber, who is a communications assistant with Minnesotans United, say it's an issue of equality.

“We know same-sex couples want to get married for the same reasons as everyone else,” Schreiber said.

A June poll from Public Policy Polling shows that 49 percent of Minnesota voters are opposed to the measure and 43 percent support it.

Michele Olson September 02, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Also, I do want to make it clear that when I say this, I don't mean that the GLBTA community be awarded with a lame "everyone's-a-winner" gold star. If we all must go through a civil union in order to obtain benefits, then we are ALL equal under the law. I stand with the GLBTA community, as just another American.
Shari Dion September 02, 2012 at 02:46 PM
swimmom, you'd like to express yourself openly and honestly without fear of being put down or maybe even being harmed for having expressed your beliefs. Please imagine what it would be like to live your whole life like that - not fearing but KNOWING that there will be people who know VERY LITTLE about you but will judge you, put you down, deny you rights, and yes, even cause mental and physical harm (maybe even death) to you just because you came into the world wired differently than them, wired to experience romantic love toward members of the same sex. swimmom, are you at all concerned that we have family members, neighbors, co-workers, and other friends who, from the moment they realize who they are and what they feel, must decide whether or not to "live in the closet", to hide themselves from the majority of us, in order to live an incredibly guarded but more "safe" life, in order to protect those around them from feeling the discomfort that comes from not understanding and/or being able to accept someone who is different than them? The proposed amendment offers each of us the chance to say, "NO! I am not ok with members of a majority group denying access to rights and privileges to a minority group." Please open your heart to seeing what the "other" experiences. Please join me in voting NO on this amendment, Swimmom. You say the "amendment is not a hate campaign". I believe it offers each of us a chance to show love - to say "NO!" to discrimination.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 03:44 PM
(cont'd) the attention of everyone around and, thus, trying to intimidate me into signing. Needless to say, my resolve only became stronger at that point. You members of the LGBT community and your supporters are more guilty of oppressive tactics and intimidation than those of us who do not side with you. I'm willing to live and let live but I also exercise my right to vote my conscience in accordance with my values and morals. I DO NOT hate those of you wish to live what I consider to be an immoral lifestyle but my concerns in this matter reach beyond just redefining marriage to include all types of relationships which, in reality, is what this amendment is about. I'm more worried about the "slippery slope" we would end up starting down if we give an inch in this debate. There are already cases trying to be made to legalize marriages of 3 or more people in this country. What next? Will the pedophiles in the world then claim that their sexual desires towards children is an act of nature, that they were "hard-wired" that way before birth through no fault of their own, so that it should be legal? The same argument could then be used by someone who prefers animals over their own species as well as some members of society who might think it should be legal to marry their own offspring. Pretty soon it becomes a free for all with no boundaries and countless innocent victims that don't have the ability to resist. Be careful of what you wish for is all I'm saying.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 03:51 PM
For some reason, the first part of my post did not make it. That said, I have stated my position on this debate and the reason for my position. Take it or leave it for what it's worth.
Edward September 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
The slippery slope goes in both directions. If we outlaw gay marriage what's next? Outlawing interrracial marriage? How about marriage to someone with a physical or perceived mental disability? How about outlawing marriage for women who cannot bear children? After all, marriage is just for creating families, right? Remember, the slippery slope runs two ways. I'm more afraid of people taking away rights than granting them. If we deny marriage rights to some then my marriage could be next on the chopping block. NO, THANKS. Let any two adults who love and consent marry. That's fair and right.
Susan September 02, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Richard, I too wish the first part of your comment had posted. I will once again remind you that you must be able to give legal consent to enter a contract (marriage) and children, animals, and plants can not do this. The argument for these things has no merit. On the idea of polygamy, yes, you have a point. I could say that marriage is between two people, but my argument there would hold not merit in this scenario. On this point, I will concede, but the other arguments are ludicrous, and I really wish you would stop insinuating that homosexuality has some connection to pedophilia and beastiality. This is what makes you look like a right wing extremist, judging people without having any understanding or compassion for those who are born gay.
Judy September 02, 2012 at 04:11 PM
No to gay marriage, yes to love!
Shari Dion September 02, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Judy, respectfully, I really do not understand. To some you would say, "I love you, but I don't believe you should have access to the same rights and privileges that I enjoy"? What kind of love is that? We can not pretend that same sex couples can enjoy the same rights and privileges as opposite sex couples without a legally recognized marriage. We may wish it were so, but it just isn't. If the majority votes to deny rights and privleges to a minority it will not feel or look like love.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Allright, I'm gonna try and reaccomplish the first part of my post that, for some unknown reason, failed to post even tho it appeared to be within the guidelines for content and limited size. It's times like this that I wish this post was run by Disqus but I digress. My original composition was essentially to point out the hypocracy of the the LGBT community and some of their supporters by telling of an incident that happened to me on campus last year. I had come out of one of the buildings on campus and needed to hurry to get to my next class on time. In front of the building is a large plaza or "commons" area and that particular day there was a large group of students/faculty members set up with tables and running around with clipboards. This group of people were associated with the local LGBT community on campus but I didn't know this as I started across the plaza. As I began to navigate my way through the crowd, a young lady ran up to me and grabbed me by the arm while shoving a clipboard in my face. She proceeded to "TELL" me (not ask) to sign my name. I asked why? What's it for? She told me it was a petition for our state legislators to legalize same-sex marriage. I "politely" told her that I could not sign the petition because it went against my beliefs. She immediately began shouting "HATER, HATER" while pointing at me. This naturally drew... (pick up with continuation here)
Susan September 02, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Richard, I understand your frustration, and this woman was completely out of line. But don't you think it is a bit unfair to categorize an entire movement by the bad behavior of one individual? I don't hold the entire Republican party responsible for the wrongdoings of Bush and Cheney, so I would hope you could somehow see it in your heart to try and understand what it is like to be a homosexual vs. dismissing them all, for the bad behavior of a few.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I might add that since she decided to make a public spectacle of the fact I wouldn't kowtow to their beliefs and go off on a tangent of calling me a "hater" and/or "homophobe", I gave it right back to her. I said plenty loud enough for all within earshot that I have no problem with them living some unnatural (in my own personal opinion) lifestyle but if she ever grabs me by the arm and attacks me like that again that I would press charges of assault against her. And that went for anyone else who tried to do the same. Needless to say, she got a mortified look to her face as did many of the others of her group. The University I attend is a "liberal" one at best. I am sick and tired of having to go to all these classes and seminars (as part of the requirement for a degree) that force us to sit through sensitivity training and seminars in an attempt to "normalize" their lifestyles as something good and perfectly fine. I'm paying good money to go to school to get a degree and, hopefully, a high-paying job. Not to be coerced or brainwashed into some belief or ideology that is not compatible with my upbringing, morals, or values or to be a champion for such a cause. If someone wants to call me a hater just because I don't agree with their viewpoint then so be it. If anything, it will only strengthen my resolve in the end. It's like smoking, research has shown that constantly badgering or harassing someone to quit in most cases has just the opposite effect.
Susan September 02, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I think you have a right to choose whatever school that will accept you. You could have chosen a conservative, religious institution, instead. I am pretty clear on my distaste for the word hate/r above. Your moral convictions are your own, I only ask that you don't force them on others through laws and amendments.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Susan, I'm not trying to make the case here that homosexuality is connected to pedophilia and beastiality. I'm just saying that those acts are part of this prominent sexual revolution we are seeing around the globe that goes way beyond the sexual revolution of the sixties. But as far as pedophilia is concerned, research has repeatedly shown that victims of pedophiles have a much greater likelihood of becoming a pedophile later in life. Criminal profilers and psychologists have acknowledged this fact for years in their professions and use that fact in dealing with several different types of criminal activity or to get to the root of psychological issues and one's ability to lead a normal life.
St. Croix Grandma September 02, 2012 at 04:55 PM
If this amendment is passed, the freedom of churches to marry whom they choose is taken away. If the amendment is not passed, churches that don't want to marry same-sex couples will not have to do so (as they don't now), but churches that want to marry same-sex couples will not have the freedom to do so. If you vote yes on this amendment, do you really believe in religious freedom?
Susan September 02, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Richard wrote: "But as far as pedophilia is concerned, research has repeatedly shown that victims of pedophiles have a much greater likelihood of becoming a pedophile later in life." I do not disagree, but why bring up this subject when we are discussing homosexuality? That is what I don't like. Some (maybe not you) like to associate the criminal behavior of pedophiles and those participating is beastiality with homosexuality. This is an underhanded attempt to connect the issues, and it is unfair, and even sinister. I hope I have relieved your concern about people wanting to marry children, trees, and animals, since they can not legally enter into a contract.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Susan, I respect your views and my contributions to the post were only intended to express my concerns where this amendment is concerned. But, as you can also see by some of the responses to my original posts, there have been some who have resorted to vicious personal attacks (in my opinion) or have tried to divert from the real issue. I only ask that my views are respected in kind as I respect yours or any others whose views are not congruent to my own yet keep it as a civil discourse. As for my options for a "conservative" school, I really don't have that option. I am unable to relocate due to family responsibilities and this is the only 4-year college with reasonable accessibility (i.e. distance to drive, cost of living, etc.).
Susan September 02, 2012 at 05:16 PM
And I respect your right to have those views....thank goodness we live in America! Although I too will go after people personally here, I have been trying very hard lately to keep the conversations civil and informative, as I appreciate all sides of an argument. I feel that the more we understand the other side, the more we may be able to work with them and come to a resolution that will work for the betterment of the country (state, city, etc)....too bad DC doesn't see it this way. I did not mean to imply that you should change schools, only that it seems a bit unfair to complain about the school's curriculum after you CHOSE to go to that school.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM
It all goes with the "slippery slope" I speak of. That's all I'm trying to say. Just like previous posters here have tried (and made in certain ways) the argument about "inter-racial" marriages. And yes, it DOES go both ways but I have to agree with this amendment. The sad truth and fact of the matter is that not everyone can be satisfied no matter what the issue or what is decided in this particular case. Times like this is when reasonable and civil discourse needs to be established and allow for ALL sides of the issue to be aired. As I've stated many times, I harbor no hatred or ill-feelings towards anyone who is attracted to someone of the same gender. I just don't share the same leanings yet it seems I'm getting bombarded by their lifestyle choice(s) at every turn. Especially when it comes to an education-based environment.
Richard Quill September 02, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Just a quick addendum to your latest post Susan: I'm not really complaining about the choice of school here. I knew going in that there would be professors with whom there would be some deep conflicts philosophically, morally, ethically, and value-wise. But hey! The way I see it is that it just makes the educational process all that more valuable. Although I expected to be at odds with some Professors, I did not expect to be accosted by someone over my views/beliefs. And I also just wanted to touch on something else you said where I didn't read it correctly at first..."But don't you think it is a bit unfair to categorize an entire movement by the bad behavior of one individual?" I don't feel I'm categorizing an entire movement because of the bad behavior of one individual. I don't judge or condemn every pro-LGBT person and I'm sorry if you got that impression. Can we agree, however, that are many hard-line activists (from Hollywood to the East Coast) who are extreme in promoting the LGBT community and, in turn, are actually doing more harm than good to their cause(s)? It's only human nature that when one gets shoved hard enough or thrown to the ground hard enough there comes a point when the person being shoved will push back. Even the most mild-mannered, timid person has a threshold or breaking point where they say enough is enough and fight back. Unfortunately, in some cases, the response is much worse than the original shove.
Susan September 02, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Yes, I will agree, and add that there are individuals in every movement, group, and party that go way too far. Maybe it's for the sake of their position, maybe it's because they have been bullied or pushed too far themselves, but what happened to you was out of line and unacceptable. I only ask that people see this amendment for what it is....pushing the moral and religious beliefs of one group on another. Thanks for the chat, and have a great holiday!!
Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Richard, my understanding that homosexual pedophiles are the same percentage of the homosexual population, as are heterosexual pedophiles, of the heterosexual pedophiles. I think we're all agreed, preying on the vulnerable is just wrong. And this is probably just my own perception, but it seems as if society zeroes in on boys who have been preyed upon (and trust me, if it had been my own, I would be murderous), and the girls often get ignored.
Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 03:21 AM
St. Croix Grandma, like, like, like. Oh, sorry, this isn't Facebook. : )
Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Also, may I say, that we all need to stop screaming at each other, Richard, I agree. As to homosexuality spreading, it's interesting: I'm reading a book now on same sex marriage, and while the author doesn't want to inflict his own opinion on the reader, it sounds like the Catholic Church (can you tell I'm a "recovering Catholic" from my capitalizations?) approved gay marriage until the middle of the Middle Ages, and nobody cared about lesbianism until the 1800s. I wonder what changed? My own theory is that then, as now, two men could accumulate property and be a threat to those in charge. Even now, lesbian couples just don't make the same amount of money together.
Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Also, according to the author, who was a Yale professor, love and sex had nothing to do with marriage until the last two hundred years, and only in Western culture.
Big Dog September 03, 2012 at 03:38 AM
I can't see where people get so bent out of shape about giving those that choose same sex marriage the same benefits and laws as those that are heterosexual are afforded. As long as they are not affecting your Constitutional Rights, why should they be denied their rights. I guess equal treatment under the law only pertains to those that think like those of you that oppose same sex marriage. If you don't want to marry someone of the same sex. At the same time, it's none of our business what those that do want to marry a person of the same sex do! It doesn't affect your rights in any way, but you want to affect their rights!
Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Once again, civil contracts in court so we all stand equal under the law, marriage ceremonies in the houses of faith, so each can practice their own.
Michele Olson September 03, 2012 at 04:31 AM
And also, all this argument over something that is already illegal. Meanwhile, this state has a TERRIBLE problem with sex-trafficking and slavery. And speaking of marriage, how about the woman who murdered her five children in St. Paul all those years ago, and nobody seemed to notice that when her husband married her overseas, she had to be maybe THIRTEEN! If we're going to argue about these issues, maybe we need to stop worrying about what two consenting adults are doing, and worry about those who need our help.
Smokin' Joe September 03, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Seems so simple. I suspect that if you put your question to the vast majority that you'd be right, that nobody would care what people do amongst themselves. There is, however, a fear of creating yet one more protected class whose goal is not equal treatment but preferential treatment. Many of my gay friends are not only pursuing equality under the law, they're pushing for a mandated societal change of attitude where their lifestyle is "celebrated" and they're accorded status as a protected class. While I'm happy that they're happy, I could do without the celebration. I'm not thrilled when heterosexual couples "celebrate" their lifestyle in public either. I really don't want my kids to be taught in a public school that it is simply another lifestyle. And yet by teaching them that a traditional family is a worthy goal I'm supposedly engaging in hate speech. Well I don't hate anyone for their sexual preferences, and even worse for the labelers, I don't care about their sexual preferences. All of this celebration needs to go back in the bedroom where it belongs. Whether you're married or not really isn't the measure of a relationship and all of the legal issues can be accomplished with simple contracts. If you're angry because the tax implications aren't fair that's really too bad, and we have a lot in common.
Put a little love in your heart September 06, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Wishing the best now and in the future to everyone in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and the World. I have nothing but great things to say about them all. Wishing you Joy and Happiness every day of your life. Let’s all get along, in PEACE and HARMONY and the World will be a better place. Put A Little Love In Your Heart Think of your fellow man Lend him a helping hand Put a little love in your heart You see it's getting late Oh please don't hesitate Put a little love in your heart And the world will be a better place And the world will be a better place For you and me You just wait and see Another day goes by And still the children cry Put a little love in your heart If you want the world to know We won't let hatred grow Put a little love in your heart And the world will be a better place And the world will be a better place For you and me You just wait and see Wait and see Take a good look around And if you're looking' down Put a little love in your heart I hope when you decide Kindness will be your guide Put a little love in your heart And the world will be a better place And the world will be a better place For you and me You just wait and see Put a little love in your heart, Put a little love in your heart, Put a little love in your heart
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