A member of my Family Home Evening group joined the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus a couple of months ago, so our Pride activities this year included supporting him by attending a Gay Men's Chorus concert Saturday night. Earlier that day, Göran and I (and other members of my FHE group) went to Loring Park to look at the various Pride exhibits.
Sunday morning, Göran and Glen were marching in the parade as part of the Delta Lambda Phi contingent, so I met up with some friends -- including J., a member of my FHE group -- to watch the parade. It's the first time in some years that I've actually watched the entire parade from beginning to end!
There were 133 different official contingents. I was particularly interested in the contingents that focused on the issue of same-sex marriage. There were more than a few.
The DFL ("Democrat Farmer Labor") city council members marched as a contingent, and made this statement about their support for same-sex marriage.
So did the Minnesota ACLU.
Of course, Rainbow Families/Family Equality Council was there too, and can be counted on to march with a strong pro-marriage-equality message.
A major focus of OutFront Minnesota this year will be working to defeat the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that will be on the ballot in November 2012. I've joined OutFront's Faith Steering Committee to strategize and work with other people of faith in Minnesota on this issue.
Project 515 is a Minnesota-based organization specifically committed to the issue of marriage equality as well.
OutFront Minnesota and Project 515 have joined with a coalition of other organizations under the Umbrella of Minnesotans United for All Families, which is organizing the campaign to support same-sex marriage. I made sure to stop at their booth during the festival in the park to sign up and stay apprised of the various efforts they'll be organizing in coming months.
In the park, I encountered a couple of other groups working on marriage equality as well, like Winning Marriage Equality and Marry Me Minnesota. WME appears to be the brainchild of Denny Smith, a Minnesota teacher and father of a gay son. "Marry Me" has organized to support same-sex couples who are suing the State of Minnesota for the right to marry. (OutFront is encouraging Minnesotans to pursue a legislative strategy for winning marriage equality, rather than a litigious strategy.)
I ran into my friend, Patrick Scully, a Minnesota performance artist and founder and artistic director of Patrick's Cabaret. (He's hard to miss at Pride, because he's so frickin' tall!!) He was wearing a banner congratulating New York on its legalization of same-sex marriage. On his back, he had the Target Corporation logo superimposed on a Rainbow Flag, with a bloody knife stuck in the middle of it. Patrick had used a real, plastic knife and special make-up effects to make it look like he'd been stabbed in the back. It was his own personal effort to hold Target responsible for its betrayal of the GLBT community when it backed arch-conservative, anti-same-sex-marriage candidate Tom Emmer for governor. (Emmer lost to DFL candidate Mark Dayton.) The last I saw Patrick yesterday, he was lying down on the lawn near the Target booth at Pride, with a bevy of security guards standing around him, trying to figure out what to do with him. I wonder if he succeeded in getting arrested?
(Worth noting here, parenthetically at least, that yet another conservative opponent of same-sex marriage has publicly admitted he was wrong, and has come out in support of same-sex marriage.)
We didn't get home till after everything was shut down in the park, because Göran and Glen were both helping with the Delta Lambda Phi booth. When we did, we finally got some well deserved Sabbath rest, and rubbed each other's feet in front of the television, while watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Getting geared up for the final installment in July by watching all seven movies!)
But there's plenty more walking we'll need to do, before all is said and done.