Spotlight on Volunteer Bob Werner
“The saddest day of my life was when the senate voted to put the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot,” exclaims Super Volunteer Bob Werner. “I was profoundly disappointed, but then I remember Karen Clark saying ‘We’ve just begun to fight!’ And people came together like never before. It was amazing – we moved public opinion!”
Bob has been actively involved with Minnesotans United for the past two years. He helped open the Rochester office. “I can’t even tell you how many calls I made and I was also the Tuesday night phone bank trainer. Last fall, we had 23 phones available for calling and every single one would be busy. This spring, I knocked on a lot of doors. Just call me the gay poster boy from Rochester!” he said with a laugh.
Bob and his husband Joe Nix first volunteered with OutFront Minnesota more than 20 years ago. “I remember going to OutFront meetings around the state. It was a great way to meet people, strategize and build the movement [for LGBT equality].” They also volunteered on the 1993 “It’s Time Minnesota” campaign that secured passage of the Minnesota Human Rights Amendment, which prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in housing, education, employment and public accommodations. (Minnesota was the first state to enact gender identity protections.)
Joe and Bob have supported OutFront as volunteers and donors because they believe “it’s the best advocacy organization in the state! The staff has done so much to connect the LGBT community and communicate about issues that affect us.” For a number of years, they also served as board members for Gay/Lesbian Community Services of Southeast Minnesota. “We’ve always been involved with issues we feel passionate about. And we’ve gotten back so much more than we’ve given,” said Bob. “Everyone has time, talents and treasures – find something you care about and start volunteering!”