PAUL THISSEN FOR MINNESOTA GOVERNOR. As lifelong Minnesotans, Paul Thissen and I share a deep appreciation and affection for the land, the people, and the traditions that give color and meaning to our lives. Both of us have traveled extensively throughout our state and understand the inherent goodwill, sense of fair play, and yearning for integrity that characterizes our people. Paul embodies these traits with a fresh and enthusiastic optimism matched by a can-do spirit of pragmatism. As a gay man who never could have imagined the possibility of marrying his high school boy friend, I have experienced personally and vicariously the profound changes of attitude, heart, and behavior within myself and others that have replaced shadows with sunshine, fear with strength, and despair with hope. Like the best of leaders, Paul calls forth the higher angels of our nature. He has done this in speeches to assembled throngs, in one-on-one conversations, and in the introduction and passage of legislation. As the real deal, he also does it in the raising of his own kids, all of whom accompanied us in last year's Pride Parade through the streets of downtown Minneapolis. Would that our own parents ever would have placed in our hands signs that read "Our friend has two mothers, and we think it's great!" As a former political candidate, I know about the ineffable campaign experience that Paul has undertaken. I am inspired by his work ethic, the competence of his campaign team, and the equanimity of his person. I will be proud to have him serve as governor of my state, and I invite you to help make that happen! -Gary Peterson
Why I Always Give to The National and Lesbian and Gay Task Force
How I came to make The Task Force my primary donee is a story that goes back 20 years.At that time I experienced a life-changing incident - it was a comedy routine trashing a public figure in the ugliest manner.It wasn't the homophobia of the comedian which so roused me - he was motivated by the bitter disappointment that the gay man triumphed when the straights he was rooting for failed so badly. No names because the public figure is still in the closet.It was the reality that the rest of the audience in my hometown found it funny.I was so horrified that I knew I had to do something.
At that time I could have started to support (with my money and other ways) organizations with narrow but important missions - worthy organizations I support when I can, that work through the courts and the media. for two.Then and now there were two organizations which had a broader agenda. I did support both organizations but early on chose to support The Task Force at a much higher level for a number of reasons.They have always put their focus on state and local efforts, which is where measurable progress happens anyway.I can't personally support the multitude of state and local organizations but I can give my money to The Task Force knowing that The Task Force can and will go out and use their expertise of 30 years of gay activism to help groups all across the country.The money I give, although a lot for my income, goes a lot further - it isn't being thrown at politicians who do nothing to advance gay rights. They do such a good job at the impossible task at incorporating the broader progressive agenda into their work.
I was raised in a racist society and there are times when I dispair of being able to personally to transcend that sorry reality, even in my own interpersonal relationships.I marvel at how The Task Force seems to effectively cut through the racism in this society.They seem to be able to work through the racism which affects everything that happens in this country and go beyond.I don't know how they do it but am in awe that they can and do.
Then there's Creating Change.I go and have been going every year for almost 2 decades because I love learning first hand what is happening all across the country (and the world) in the international gay rights movement.It is organized to the nth degree - it has to be - but never loses the sense that it is throwing a lot of lgbt activists together and see what happens.It gets energy and focus from the local community, its distinctive issues and the broader political events.I still recall the euphoria in 1990 by the unexpected victory at the polls of Paul Wellstone - many on the host committee were some of his strongest supporters. I'm still learning at every conference, every year - hearing stories, learning about subjects I would normally have no exposure to.Labor issues in Detroit.Border issues in San Diego. Organizing in the Muslim community in Pittsburgh.
THE REASONS I MAXED OUT ON ED FALLON'S CANDIDATCY IN THE IA 03 DISTRICT
As the chair of Marriage Equality USA--IA chapter, its not hard to guess the #1 reason that I maxed out on Ed Fallon. Ed is the #1 friend of equality marriage in Iowa (and if we did a national survey he would be way up there too). If truth be told how many of us (LGBT activists) can claim that 12 years ago we were speaking out on equality marriage? But Ed was. He was speaking to the Iowa General Assembly and telling the truth.
In Ed's own words, "Opponents of gay marriage tell us we need legislation to protect ourselves from this kind of marriage, but what are they trying to protect heterosexual marriages from? There isn't a limited amount of love in Iowa. It isn't a non-renewable resource." Fallon also makes the point, "To suggest that homosexual couples in any way, shape or form threaten to undermine the stability of heterosexual unions are absurd. All the GLBT community is asking for is acceptance. They want the same basic civil equality that all Americans yearn for and are entitled to." As a marriage activist, Ed is perfect.
Ed is in favor of overturning "don't ask, don't tell" recognizing a failed philosophy when he sees it. He is willing to co sponsor ENDA in its combined form (as it should be-we are one community, should be one bill). On banning discrimination in family and medical leave, he will co sponsor HR 2792 and HR 1542.
He also supports and would co sponsor The Mathew Shepherd Act to help fight hate crimes.
With other candidates advocating such a pro agenda I might question their sincerely but with his track of record of being an extremely strong advocate of LGBT issues, I know Ed will be a great friend of our community in the Congress too. Please join me in maxing out on Ed. Please visit Ed's act blue page:
WHY WE MAXED OUT TO LINDA KETNER FOR CONGRESS (AN OPEN LESBIAN)
We have known Linda Ketner for many years. And we see her once or twice a year in donor conferences and other philanthropic and political events. She is a mega donor to the LGBT community and to other Democrats in Congress and in state and local races. Linda is a member of eQualityGiving's Advisory Board from the very beginning.
We discussed in detail her strategy in January in her home in South Carolina. She knows exactly what will it take to win and has assembled a formidable team. She will be only the second person ever elected to Congress as an open lesbian.
Both of us maxed out to her because she has the intelligence, contacts, and team to win and she is totally pro equality.
To Linda's Victory!
Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover Founders, eQualityGiving