Out In Droves – Arguing Same-Sex Marriage

House Bill H.R.1054 was up for a vote in the Civil Law Committee on Tuesday. On that day the committee took testimony from any and all citizens who wanted to share their views on the bill. Many presented their own views and some introduced themselves as representatives for a group.

I don’t often watch political committee discussions (but when I do…), but this is a topic of great interest. H.R.1054 is a bill that, if passed by the MN Congress, would give same-sex couples the right to get married in Minnesota! I also wanted to watch because August Berkshire was scheduled to speak on behalf of Minnesota Atheists. August live-Facebooked the event. Fellow MN Atheist members Greg Laden and Stephanie Zvan also blogged about the committee meeting.

Continue reading “Out In Droves – Arguing Same-Sex Marriage”

Out In Droves – Arguing Same-Sex Marriage
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Give To The Max Day: Atheists Talk Radio

Give to the Max Day is happening RIGHT NOW.

Give to the Max Day Logo

It’s a day of charitable giving run by by givemn.org, which offers several financial incentives to inspire nonprofit, school and donor participation in Give to the Max Day.

So…

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Give To The Max Day: Atheists Talk Radio

Student Atheists on the Radio

On Sunday I had the pleasure of interviewing two members of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists (CASH), Bryan Carver and Joshua Brose. The interview was a live, in-studio chat for Atheists Talk on KTNF (AM950). Carver and Joshua were good sports and agreed to take a photo with me, even though it was before 9am on a Sunday morning.

From the left: Joshua Brose, me, Bryan Carver

During the interview we discussed Joshua and Carver’s background, how they as students found CASH, and what their involvement in the group is. We chatted about the role that CASH plays on campus and in its members’ lives. We discussed some of the events that they’ve already held this year including the Brother Jed counterprotest and Everyone Draw Mohammed Day. They shared information about upcoming CASH events (which are usually open to the public), including a mentalist in November and SkepTech, a conference that they’re hosting next spring which will feature some pretty big names in the secular community (whoever is first on the list is the coolest speaker ever. Truth.). And to close the interview, they each shared what they believe is the one of the most important issues affecting young atheists today.

I had a very good time doing this interview, and I love working with Atheists Talk radio as a host and interviewer. I like knowing that there is a weekly atheist radio in my area that not only delivers awesome interviews (In the past couple of months alone we’ve have Alex Bezerow, Howard Bloom, Chris Rodda, Rebecca Stott, Guy P. Harrison, Matt McCormick, Herb Silverman, Teresa MacBain, David Niose, Jessica Ahlquist…well, I could go on, but now we’re all the way back to July), but also information about local atheist events and activities individuals and families.

You, uh, know we primarily fund this radio show with donations from listeners and supporters, right? *cough* Anyone, any donation amount, anytime. Go ahead, click the link. You know you want to. We have the best tagline ever: “Atheists Talk: It’s good radio without the Good Book.” That’s worth a few bucks just for sheer awesomeness, right?

You can listen to the CASH interview with Joshua, Carver and me in several places: the Minnesota Atheists radio page, in the KTNF archives, or you can search on iTunes for the podcast “Minnesota Atheists Atheists Talk”. Or maybe even here if the player embeds correctly:

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Student Atheists on the Radio

Why I’m Voting No

Ben from TheSweatervest blog invited me to write about why I’m voting no to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment this November for his 42 Days of No project, which is highlighting “Why I’m Voting No” stories by Minnesotans (he started it 42 days prior to this November’s vote). This piece was submitted for that project.

I am voting NO on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment because a yes vote is a vote for discrimination. I don’t want to hear one more story about gay families being denied hospital visitation, bereavement rights or control of their possessions or children because they were not afforded the same legal protection that straight couples receive. The Minnesota Marriage Amendment is a Hail Mary pass supported by bigots that is intended to delay the inevitable; gay marriage WILL be legal in my lifetime.

I am voting NO because the Minnesota Marriage Amendment is a ploy by Republicans who are trying to win support from religiously-motivated voters. It is a cheap trick and dirty politics, and I don’t support it.

Vote No Jeep

Vote No Jeep parked outside of the YWCA in Uptown, Minneapolis.

I have a coworker who told me that she’s voting yes because the bible implies that gay marriage is wrong. She says she respects gay people, and that voting yes doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love her gay friends and family.

Bullshit.

If you love your gay friends and family, help protect them against inequitable representation in the legal system. If you are voting yes in November, you are spitting in the faces of people who need your help. You are telling them that you think they are wrong, that you know who they should love and marry better than they do.

Vote No Car in Front of Uptown Theater

 Vote No Car stopped in front of the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis

I have an acquaintance who doesn’t believe the government should be involved in marriage at all. He says he’s going to vote yes because he thinks this will send a message that government shouldn’t have any say over marriage at all.

That is an incredibly fucked up viewpoint.

The Minnesota Marriage Amendment would exert more government control over marriage, not less. It would be so bold as to define who can and can’t get married. What right does government have to make that call? For right or wrong, the government does have some say in marriage and in the rights of married people. If it is going to exert that control, it should at least do so without preference to one set of people over others.

It is my honor and duty to vote, and I am voting NO on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment because I will not stand quietly aside as discrimination is codified into our constitution. Neither god nor politics has a place in the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, and I will not let arguments to either of these blind me to the fact that voting yes to this heinous, sorry excuse of a proposed amendment would harm my fellow Minnesotans.

Why I’m Voting No

Why I'm Voting No

Ben from TheSweatervest blog invited me to write about why I’m voting no to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment this November for his 42 Days of No project, which is highlighting “Why I’m Voting No” stories by Minnesotans (he started it 42 days prior to this November’s vote). This piece was submitted for that project.

I am voting NO on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment because a yes vote is a vote for discrimination. I don’t want to hear one more story about gay families being denied hospital visitation, bereavement rights or control of their possessions or children because they were not afforded the same legal protection that straight couples receive. The Minnesota Marriage Amendment is a Hail Mary pass supported by bigots that is intended to delay the inevitable; gay marriage WILL be legal in my lifetime.

I am voting NO because the Minnesota Marriage Amendment is a ploy by Republicans who are trying to win support from religiously-motivated voters. It is a cheap trick and dirty politics, and I don’t support it.

Vote No Jeep

Vote No Jeep parked outside of the YWCA in Uptown, Minneapolis.

I have a coworker who told me that she’s voting yes because the bible implies that gay marriage is wrong. She says she respects gay people, and that voting yes doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love her gay friends and family.

Bullshit.

If you love your gay friends and family, help protect them against inequitable representation in the legal system. If you are voting yes in November, you are spitting in the faces of people who need your help. You are telling them that you think they are wrong, that you know who they should love and marry better than they do.

Vote No Car in Front of Uptown Theater

 Vote No Car stopped in front of the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis

I have an acquaintance who doesn’t believe the government should be involved in marriage at all. He says he’s going to vote yes because he thinks this will send a message that government shouldn’t have any say over marriage at all.

That is an incredibly fucked up viewpoint.

The Minnesota Marriage Amendment would exert more government control over marriage, not less. It would be so bold as to define who can and can’t get married. What right does government have to make that call? For right or wrong, the government does have some say in marriage and in the rights of married people. If it is going to exert that control, it should at least do so without preference to one set of people over others.

It is my honor and duty to vote, and I am voting NO on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment because I will not stand quietly aside as discrimination is codified into our constitution. Neither god nor politics has a place in the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, and I will not let arguments to either of these blind me to the fact that voting yes to this heinous, sorry excuse of a proposed amendment would harm my fellow Minnesotans.

Why I'm Voting No

6 O’Clock BS: Damn You Minnesoooota

Oh, thyat Minnahsooohta accent.

Image is an xy graph entitled “Why My Old Friends From Illinois and My Family Laugh At Me When We Hang Out”. X-axis title is “Time I Live in Minnesota (Years)”. Y-axis title is “Time It Takes Me To Say Words Containing a Long “O” (seconds). Trendline indicates a proportional relationship between x and y.

6 O’Clock BS: Damn You Minnesoooota

6 O'Clock BS: Damn You Minnesoooota

Oh, thyat Minnahsooohta accent.

Image is an xy graph entitled “Why My Old Friends From Illinois and My Family Laugh At Me When We Hang Out”. X-axis title is “Time I Live in Minnesota (Years)”. Y-axis title is “Time It Takes Me To Say Words Containing a Long “O” (seconds). Trendline indicates a proportional relationship between x and y.

6 O'Clock BS: Damn You Minnesoooota

Chris Kluwe’s Letter to Maryland Delegate

I will definitely cheer for the hometown team for this one!

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe posted an open letter defending gay marriage and the right of free speech. It contains a fantastically entertaining mix of logical arguments and a buttload of vulgarity.

See, this other football player, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, is a long-time supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage and he said some stuff about that. And then some state delegate from Maryland was all like – and this is paraphrased here, but I think I captured the essence of the letter  -Waaaaa! You can’t say that! Hey, you – Ravens owner – your employee supports same-sex marriage and, like, you should make him stop saying that stuff! Here I wrote it on my official letterhead so you know I’m totes credible!”

Continue reading “Chris Kluwe’s Letter to Maryland Delegate”

Chris Kluwe’s Letter to Maryland Delegate

Chris Kluwe's Letter to Maryland Delegate

I will definitely cheer for the hometown team for this one!

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe posted an open letter defending gay marriage and the right of free speech. It contains a fantastically entertaining mix of logical arguments and a buttload of vulgarity.

See, this other football player, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, is a long-time supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage and he said some stuff about that. And then some state delegate from Maryland was all like – and this is paraphrased here, but I think I captured the essence of the letter  -Waaaaa! You can’t say that! Hey, you – Ravens owner – your employee supports same-sex marriage and, like, you should make him stop saying that stuff! Here I wrote it on my official letterhead so you know I’m totes credible!”

Continue reading “Chris Kluwe's Letter to Maryland Delegate”

Chris Kluwe's Letter to Maryland Delegate

Stay Classy, Senator Dan Hall

Dan Hall is a Minnesota state senator representing District 40, which includes areas of Burnsville and Bloomington. He’s a Republican and was one of 38 senators to co-sponsor and support MN SF 1308, the constitutional amendment to recognize marriage solely between one man and one woman.

Attempting to restrict the rights of the people you represent  is gross. Thumbing your nose at them on Twitter using your professional account is just plain nasty:

Get that? If you plan on voting no on Senator Hall’s constitutional amendment you’re not a Real American™. Because implying that your constituents who disagree with you are anti-American is AWESOME. And professional. And a viewpoint I’m looking for in a government representative and civil servant.

And he hasn’t taken it down! A later tweet says “Everyone seems touchy when I give them my observation. U read into it what U want, but no one is calling anyone unpatriotic.”

You’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking. Of course no elected official in this day and age would accuse another US citizen of being un-American, right?

Stay Classy, Senator Dan Hall