Minnesota Independent: News. Politics. Media.

Top Stories

Ellison confronts King on planned Muslim investigations

Photo via Facebook
By Andy Birkey | 12.21.10

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York says he wants to hold investigations into the “radicalization” of American Muslims in his new position as chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, but Rep. Keith Ellison said on Monday that targeting one community would hamper homeland security efforts.

Bachmann’s payroll jumped 16 percent in 2009

Bachmann80x80 copy
By Andy Birkey | 12.20.10

Rep. Michele Bachmann has been outspoken in her assertion that federal employees make double the salary of those in the private sector, but the Associated Press noted on Monday that Bachmann has increased her own payroll 16 percent between 2007 and 2009. She has called for a freeze on federal employee salaries, but the Minnesota Independent took a look at her own office and found that her employees enjoy frequent raises. But despite those increases, Bachmann has the lowest congressional payroll in the Minnesota delegation after freshman Rep. Erik Paulsen.

Anti-gay bullying continues to be a contentious issue in Anoka-Hennepin School District

bullying 80
By Andy Birkey | 12.16.10

Monday night’s meeting of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board was a contentious one as the issue of bullying and suicide in the district again came up. The state’s largest school district opened an investigation into the suicides of nine students over the past year — some by students who were allegedly bullied for their sexual orientation — and said that it found no evidence that any of the nine were bullied. Students and parents criticized the district for its statement — at times the conversation devolved to shouting — while district officials said there’s not much they can do if students and parents don’t report incidents to the schools.

Reproductive rights groups anticipate tough legislative session

stop abortion sign 80
By Andy Birkey | 12.16.10

Advocates for reproductive rights are concerned that new socially conservative leadership in the Minnesota Legislature could curtail those rights in the upcoming biennium. While Republicans, who’ll control both houses, say that jobs and the economy will come first, there’s little doubt that they’ll also press for restrictions on abortion within the next two years — especially with Sen. Michele Fischbach as President of the Senate. Fischbach’s husband, Scott, is the executive director of Minnesota’s largest anti-abortion group, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.


Same-sex marriage to get ‘historic’ hearing at Minnesota Capitol

By Andy Birkey | 02.19.10 | 9:19 am
Photo: Lavverue, Flickr

Photo: Lavverue, Flickr

LGBT advocates are calling an upcoming Minnesota House committee hearing on same-sex marriage “historic.” The hearing, to be held Monday afternoon, will be the first time same-sex marriage will be discussed in a committee hearing without the specter of a constitutional ban on gay marriage — a measure Republicans have tried for years to pass.

The only hitch: It’s only for informational purposes, and no vote will be taken.

OutFront Minnesota, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group, says that’s okay. It’s still progress.

“Although no votes will be taken Monday, the hearing will be historic because it is the first time a committee in our state Legislature will be looking at what enacting marriage equality means for Minnesota,” the group wrote in an email on Thursday.

Three measures will be discussed: a bill to make marriage gender neutral (the Marriage and Family Protection Act), a bill to establish civil unions, and a bill to allow for the recognition of same-sex marriage performed outside Minnesota.

Doug Benson, the citizen author of the Marriage and Family Protection Act, said the hearing seems to be more an effort to stifle gay marriage supporters during an election year.

“It’s basically a show hearing,” he said.

But OutFront believes it’s a good opportunity to let legislators know how important the issue is.

“Supporters of marriage equality will speak about what it would be like if our state no longer explicitly barred same-sex couples from legal protections. Legislators will hear from experts and their constituents that discrimination against people because of who they love or who they are is wrong.”


Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 10:32 am

Gay marriage is wrong. It should be banned and I believe voters would ban it if they had a chance.

Progressively Queer
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 11:00 am

People named Steve shouldn’t be allowed to marry. Steves should be banned and I believe voters would ban it if they had a chance.

Brix Smith
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 11:38 am

oh PQ! I’d like to marry YOU.

Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 11:45 am

Get a life Steve. Why are you so bigoted?

Richard in CA
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 11:55 am

Steve..if you think gay marriage is wrong don’t marry Adam. In other words mind your own business, unless you’d like your rights put up for a vote someday.

Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

Sounds like all show and no substance.

Adam Dierksmeier
Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

Why is it that conservatives who oppose “gay marriage” like that the government interferes when it’s about this but with other issues (taxes, health care, etc…) they scream about government intrusion into their lives?? Hypocrisy. Steves should not be allowed to marry…I couldn’t even do that. People should be allowed to marry any person they want. Love is love no matter if it’s a man and a women or 2 men or 2 women. A prejudice is just that and should be called out as such.

Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

I guess I don’t understand why some people have an issue with civil marriage being available to all people gay or straight. Some people use the bible (Steve) to support their prejudice against same sex couples in a committed relationship. I find it hard to believe that people opposed to marriage equality don’t realize how bias and layered with prejudice they sound. I hope that the gays and lesbians wouldn’t put my civil rights up for a vote.

Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

Please, don’t ban Steves from marrying! I married my husband in Canada in 2003, and his name is Steve….

Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

Paul said “I married my husband in Canada in 2003, and his name is Steve…”

Even in writing that looks silly.

Comment posted February 19, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

Steve wrote: “Gay marriage is wrong.”

What many opponents of gay marriage almost always fail to understand is that many people don’t find homosexual sexual conduct or marriage the least bit “wrong” or “immoral.” This stance isn’t some postmodern corruption of an alleged true morality good for all time, a sign of a decadent culture, or, in an abuse of a phrase only 1% of its users have any understanding of at all, an example of “moral relativism.”

In fact, the moral scales, according to people who tend to share my view of the matter anyway, find your position to be the one lacking in ethical understanding. I don’t know you personally, but probably every staunch opponent of gay marriage I’ve met appears to base their opposition to homosexuality on nothing more than what you might characterize as religiously engendered brute prejudice and stereotyping.

“Gay marriage is wrong” you write. To my ears this is nothing less than a moral myth, a pernicious bit of anti-morality–a way to oppress and denigrate people you don’t know or understand, and likely fear. And you probably haven’t done the inner work necessary to get beyond your cultural programming, to see through your bigotry to the real lives and real people behind the labels of gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual.

Progressively Queer
Comment posted February 20, 2010 @ 9:23 am

Just so we all know, I wasn’t seriously advocating that people named Steve shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

I was merely using satire to point out the absurdity of disallowing same-sex couples from marrying.


GadZooks, “Even in writing that looks silly.”

Right, and 60 years ago, a black man writing about his white wife would have looked silly, too. What’s your point?

Just because same-sex marriage is outside the norm doesn’t mean it’s silly.

Comment posted February 21, 2010 @ 11:21 am

Measures 1 and 3 are good use of time, but civil unions are a waste of time. Let’s skip that step and have marriage equality. Would the MN supreme court rule favorably like IA did?

Comment posted February 21, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

All I keep thinking of and cracking up is Mancia’s line about gays, “If you can take a d**** you can take a joke.” hahahahahhahaha

Ryan McGivern
Comment posted February 23, 2010 @ 2:12 am

Minnesota is a great state and I know that we will be able to lead again in terms of liberty and justice. We know that religious freedom requires us to honor when two people are led by their faith to marry. We know that principles of privacy would prohibit the government from performing ‘sex’ checks at the altar. We know that the Constitution protects individuals from tyranny–of despots or the masses. I am moved by my faith in God and my love of our nation’s best values to support equality for all, and I know that the House will make the just and righteous decision.

ADF Alliance Alert » Minn. officials debate marriage redefinition
Pingback posted March 9, 2010 @ 11:40 am

[...] Minnesota Independent: “Three measures will be discussed: a bill to make marriage gender neutral (the Marriage and [...]

Comment posted March 24, 2010 @ 7:00 am

The Culture War(tm) continues.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment