MCA Endorses Campaign Against Marriage Amendment
(Last Updated October 9, 2012)
The MCA Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the Minnesotans United for All Families Campaign, which will work to defeat the marriage amendment that will be on the ballot in November of 2012. Below is information about the amendment and downloadable forms and other information your organization can use to join the effort.
CONNECT TO THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE AMENDMENT AT: WWW.MNUNITED.ORG
HANDY ARTS COMMUNITY UNITED DOWNLOADS:
Minnesota business people such as John Taft of RBC, Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Co., Charlie Zelle of Jefferson Lines and Bill George, formerly of Medtronic have come out in opposition to the amendment because of the negative effect it will have on their ability to recruit the very best executive talent to the state. Newspapers in every corner of the state and people of all political parties have also come out against the amendment for this and other reasons. Over 300 non-profit, arts, civic and religious organizations have endorsed the Minnesotans United campaign so far, including 75 arts organizations. (as of 5/23/2012)
WHY MCA CHOSE TO GET INVOLVED:
THE CREATIVE COMMUNITY’S STAKE IN THE AMENDMENT
1. Minnesota’s creative community thrives because of the contributions of all kinds of creative people, including gay people. Passage of this amendment would hang a “not welcome” sign on our borders to a significant portion of the creative community and would cause damage to our image as a great place to be an artist. This amendment could limit our state’s ability to recruit the best and the brightest to be a part of our state’s future. Economist Richard Florida said in The Creative Class that regions with high concentrations of technology workers, artists, musicians, lesbians and gay men, or “the creative class” fosters an open, dynamic personal and professional environment, which in turn attracts more creative people, businesses, and capital. We believe in the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. That’s the kind of place we believe Minnesota is, and the kind of place we want it to be in the future.
2. Our arts community, of which we are a part, is already organizing itself in opposition to the amendment. For example, “Minnesota Artists for Equality” has already put on a show to raise money for the campaign. Many arts organizations are coming on board to oppose the amendment.
3. MCA’s board long ago adopted and abides by a nondiscrimination policy which includes sexual orientation:
“Minnesota Citizens for the Arts believes that the diversity of Minnesota’s artistic and cultural resources and traditions is what makes this state so rich and vibrant. MCA will create and abide by policies that increase and support diversity and access within the organization and will provide leadership to the field in advancing arts opportunities for all Minnesotans. MCA will ensure that our programs are available to all Minnesotans regardless of age; religion, cultural, ethnic and racial differences; physical and mental abilities; economic status; gender; sexual orientation; and geography.”
4. Nonprofits can, and should, take a stand on issues. (However your nonprofit can’t get involved in “partisan” politics, either for or against candidates). The rules for nonprofit engagement with a constitutional amendment campaign have changed only slightly since we all worked on the Clean Water, Land and Legacy campaign. Issue advocacy is an important and effective way for nonprofits to improve our world.
OTHER NONPROFIT COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:
1. Placing this amendment on the ballot has serious negative consequences for the ability of nonprofits to do their work. The pitting of one group of Minnesotans against another undermines Minnesota’s spirit of civil society, voluntarism, and cooperation. The divisiveness surrounding the amendment campaign can undermine nonprofits’ abilities to work together on the community needs they are formed to address. This amendment represents a serious long- term threat to Minnesota’s ability to inspire service, compassion and mutual respect among future generations.
2. The amendment is inconsistent with the spirit of the Minnesota Constitution. The basic framework of the Minnesota Constitution and its Bill of Rights in Article I is to guarantee the rights of citizens, not to restrict rights of minorities. Minnesota state law already prohibits same sex marriage and civil unions, making a constitutional amendment unnecessary.
3. The tactic of amending the constitution to put the rights of a minority to a popular vote is inconsistent with the civil rights traditions of Minnesota. Since 1948, Minnesota has been in the forefront of support for civil rights protections, when Minnesota’s leaders called on America to “get out of the shadow of states’ rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.” Minnesota’s nonprofits work hard to provide services and promote participation in ways that respect all of the people in their communities. Amendments with similar language in other states have had policy implications that directly affect nonprofits and the people they serve. Nonprofits affected by such policy changes would include those working in the areas of adoption, domestic violence, youth development, human services, health care and public education.
4. Over 100 nonprofit and civic organizations have signed on to this resolution thus far, including many MCN members, who have each seriously weighed the consequences of this amendment. (For a list of endorsing organizations, go to: http://www.mnunited.org/page.cfm?pageid=2.)
While a number of religious and other organizations have endorsed this amendment, and reasonable people can reach different conclusions, we believe that the work of the nonprofit and creative sectors would be harmed by this amendment.
air sweet air GALLERY, American Composers Forum, Anderson Center (Red Wing), Articulture, Artists in Storefronts, Big Table Studio (business), Bloomington Theatre and Art Center, Box Wine Theatre, Burton Art Studios (business), Calliope Women’s Chorus, Cantus, Children’s Theatre Company, Coffee House Press, Crown Trout Jewelers (business), Duluth Art Institute, Echoes of Peace Choir, Electric Fetus (Duluth business), Emily Johnson/Catalyst, FEASTMpls, First Avenue & 7th Street Entry, Forecast Public Art, Form + Content Gallery, Franconia Sculpture Park, Frank Theatre, Freshwater Theatre, Frozen River Film Festival, Gadfly Theatre, The Gergorian Singers, Greywolf Press, Guthrie Theater, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, History Theatre, Hopewell North Music Cooperative, Illusion Theater, In the Heart of the Beast Theater, Intermedia Arts, Ivey Awards, Jungle Theater, James Sewell Ballet, Kate Sommers Photography (business), Keane Sense of Rhythm, Inc Tap Dance, The Loft Literary Center, Loring Park Art Festival, Lunalux (business), Milkweed Editions, Min Enterprises Photography, LLC (business), Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Minnesota Freedom Band, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Orchestra Musician’s Association, Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Playlist, Minnesota Theater Alliance, Misplaced Music, Mixed Blood Theatre Company, The Moving Company Theater, Mu Performing Arts, Nautilus Music-Theater, New Bohemian Artist Coop, Off Leash Area, One Voice Mixed Chorus, Open Eye Figure Theatre, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Pangea World Theater, Patrick’s Cabaret, Penumbra Theatre Company, Periscope Artist Management (business), Pillsbury House Theatre, Playwrights’ Center, Purple Ray Pictures, Rebel Ink Printing (business), Red Eye Collaboration, Rochester Art Center, Rochester Civic Theatre, Rosalux Gallery, Rosetown Playhouse, Rox Minneapolis Jewelry (business), Rhythmically Speaking, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sandbox Theatre, Savage Umbrella, Schubert Club, Skewed Visions, The Soap Factory, Soo Visual Art Center, The Southern Theater, Springboard for the Arts, Stages Theatre Company, Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater, The Suicide Commandos Punk Rock Band, Table Salt Productions, Ten Thousand Things Theater, Textile Center, Theater Latte Da, Theatre B, Theatre Pro Rata, Theatre Unbound, Town Life Magazine (business), Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, Trellage-Ferrill Architecture & Art (business), 20 Percent Theatre Company Twin Cities, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Twin Cities Labor Chorus, Twin Cities Musicians Union, Twin Ports Bridge Festival, 2d Cloud (business), Upstream Arts, VocalEssence, Walker Art Center, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Women’s Art Resources of MN, White Bear Center for the Art