Some of you know that here in Minnesota, the Republican-run legislature voted last month in May to place a question on next year's ballot that would define within the state's constitution that a marriage is only between a man and a woman.
The Human Rights Campaign is working with statewide organizations that advocate and lobby on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. No doubt many progressive faith communities will be involved, too.
But HRC's recruitment email included the sentence "...[We] have enough time to build the infrastructure needed to win – and that means recruiting throngs of foot soldiers to fight the amendment." [emphasis mine]
One local Friend, whom I'll simply refer to as Heather, cc'd me on her personal reply to HRC's National Field Director, Marty Rouse, whose name is attributed to the recruitment email.
Here's Heather's reply, with her permission.
Words can not express the gratitude I feel as a Minnesotan, knowing that HRC will help us accurately portray families headed by same-sex couples as loving, healthy, American, and deserving of the same legal protections that other families take for granted.
Your letter did however raise concern for me in one area. I can not abide the conceptualization of this as a "war." Even if "war" was declared on our families*, I do not agree to "fight." In my household, in my same-sex marriage-affirming faith community, there will be no "foot soldiers." There will be people earnestly engaged in non-violent resistance; there will be courage manifested in speaking truth to power; there will be "sweat-equity" invested in our democracy; there will be sacrifice and hard work and returning again and again to the belief that hate does not overcome hate -- only love can do that.
I ask you, on behalf of those of us who commit our lives to nonviolence, to please resist using the imagery of war to characterize the commitment I deeply believe that you and I share, to overcome the constitutional ban on gay marriage in Minnesota. We know the power of love, and I can not think of a better time to witness than this.
*which it was -- I understand -- the MN Representative we have come to know through an extended family member told us, the morning of the vote, that his constituents are like "young recruits before the Civil War, hounding him with the refrain, 'Just let us fight!!'"