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Minnesota Faith Communities Unite for Marriage Equality

Javen Swanson, Field Organizer | September 20, 2011

Last night, more than 550 people of faith from a wide variety of Minnesota's religious and spiritual traditions launched a Faith Organizing Campaign to defeat the anti-marriage constitutional amendment in November 2012.

This meeting is the beginning of a sustained, coordinated, multi-faith effort to win the freedom to marry for all loving couples in Minnesota—first by defeating this anti-family, anti-LGBT, anti-marriage constitutional amendment.

When we win in November 2012, it's going to be because we've had some difficult conversations with our families and friends, members of our faith communities, co-workers, and other people who are an important part of our lives. But we will win by telling our friends and loved ones why marriage matters to us and asking them to oppose the amendment.

Same-sex couples want to marry for similar reasons that other couples get married: to make a public promise of love and commitment. Marriage is about helping couples to build strong and stable families. Love, commitment, and strong families—these are values that are shared by all couples.

OutFront Minnesota Organizer Javen Swanson addresses the plenary assembly at the September 19 Faith Organizing for Marriage Equality Campaign Kickoff in Minneapolis.

Photo: Paul Nixdorf Photography

OutFront Minnesota Organizer Javen Swanson addresses the plenary assembly at the September 19 Faith Organizing for Marriage Equality Campaign Kickoff in Minneapolis.

We've been talking about our vision for faith organizing in Minnesota. When other states have faced an anti-marriage ballot initiative, pro-LGBT people of faith have sometimes been kept on the sidelines, or they've been invited to participate in the campaign only at the last minute and then scapegoated when the campaign fails.

We're going to do things differently here in Minnesota.

People of faith have been with us from the beginning in Minnesota and we're making our partnerships with faith communities a key part of the campaign a full 14 months before election day.

And people of faith aren't just being recruited to take part in the campaign's phone banks and canvassing efforts; rather, the campaign is asking faith communities how they want to be involved, how they think they can participate in the campaign, what they can do within their own faith communities to change hearts and minds and build a more fair and loving Minnesota. This is grassroots organizing at its best.

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Photo: OutFront Minnesota

Participants meet in one of the breakout groups discussing faith organizing plans at the September 19 Faith Organizing for Marriage Equality Campaign Kickoff in Minneapolis.

During the second half of last night's meeting, participants met in breakout groups with other members of their faith tradition to begin developing plans for organizing within their faith communities to carry the work forward.

This is where the rubber meets the road and the things really start to happen. And this is only the beginning.

People of faith are at the heart of the movement to bring marriage equality to Minnesota. Expect to hear much more in the months ahead about the amazing work pro-LGBT people of faith are doing all across the state!

If you want to involve your community in the movement for marriage equality, bring your friends and attend one of OutFront Minnesota's and Minnesotans United for All Families' Community Action Trainings across the state this September and October!

 
 

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