Recent Events Make Minnesota #1 Battleground for Tolerance

by HRC Staff

Catholic Archbishop denies communion to fair-minded parishioners; so-called "pro-family" leader blames the victims in recent string of suicides; anti-equality candidate Tom Emmer to appear in radical radio host's documentary.


Washington  – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization – today called the state of Minnesota the number one battleground for tolerance in the wake of a series of statements from leaders opposing basic protections for LGBT people.

  • The Record – the student newspaper of the College of Saint Benedict and St. John’s University – reports that on Sunday, students wearing rainbow buttons were turned away from communion by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt.  The incident comes days after the state’s Catholic hierarchy spent thousands of dollars to send out 500,000 DVDs attacking same-sex couples who wish to marry.  Catholic lay leaders also point out that food banks and other critical services for the poor are struggling while the church hierarchy spends its resources on this divisive issue.
  • Last year, seven young people in the Anoka-Hennepin school district took their own lives after facing bullying and harassment – some of them for being perceived as gay.  Writing on the Minnesota Family Council’s blog, organization President Tom Prichard says that activists “manipulate suicide tragedy” and then uses a blame-the-victim strategy saying: “youth who embrace homosexuality are at greater risk [of suicide], because they've embraced an unhealthy sexual identity and lifestyle.”  The MFC recently released an ad along with the National Organization for Marriage invoking the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in their quest to outlaw same-sex unions.
  • Finally, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer – who voted against LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying legislation in the Minnesota legislature – will appear in a new documentary produced by radical anti-gay radio host Bradlee Dean, according to the filmmaker. Dean is of course the front-man of the band Tom Emmer called “nice people” only a week after Dean said on his radio show that Muslim countries that execute gay people are “more moral” than Americans.  Said Dean about Emmer’s involvement in the film: “The reason that he is my best friend is because the homosexuals brought me into the politics.”

“The stakes couldn’t be higher in Minnesota between moving toward an inclusive and welcoming state versus creating an environment where LGBT youth are told they’re not worthy of being considered full citizens,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “It’s time for fair-minded Minnesotans to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Prepared and paid for by HRC Equality Votes Minnesota. Not circulated on behalf of any candidate or ballot question.

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