Ellison Holds Town Hall Meeting On Gay Marriage

HOPKINS, Minn. (WCCO) — A year before a vote on a proposed ban against gay marriage, both sides are gearing up for what’s already becoming a heated debate.

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison held a town hall meeting in Hopkins Wednesday night. The LGBT community and their supporters are taking recent poll results as motivation to rally.

Congressman Ellison hosted a panel of those closest to the cause. Among them, State Senator Scott Dibble.

“As a Senator, as an out-Gay Senator, as a married Senator, part of my job is to engage my colleague, and build that relationship of respect and trust,” Dibble said.

Also on the panel was teacher with the Anoka-Hennepin District, Jann Garofano. The district has been in the national spotlight for its controversial “neutrality policy,” restricting discussion about LGBT issues. 

“We were not allowed to talk about LGBT issues at all. How very much I disagreed with that as a person, and as well, just a person with a heart,” Garofano said.

In the audience was one parent listening closely. Tammy Aaberg lost her son, who attended Anoka High School, a year and a half ago to suicide.

“I didn’t find out until 6 weeks after he died what he went through at school,” Aaberg said.

Aaberg said this fight against the ban is about more than just marriage, it’s about setting a precedent for how we treat people.

“All the rights that they don’t have, it affects all the way down to the youth,” Aaberg said.

Tuesday’s Star Tribune Minnesota Poll shows more people right now want the ban:  48 percent to 43 percent. The poll also showed far more seniors vote for the ban than those under 35.

Ellison said he believes those seniors can and will be swayed in the year ahead.

“A lot of our seniors are the people who saw Jim Crow destroyed, who saw women’s rights come into play, and this is a generation that is open-minded and fair, and I just think we got to talk to people,” Ellison said.

WCCO-TV reached out to the group “Minnesota for Marriage” to get the other side. They said over the next 12 months, they will seek to share with all Minnesotans why marriage between a man and woman plays an indispensable role in the well-being of both children and society.

Comments

One Comment

  1. fkafka says:

    It’s simple – legally label any marriage as either man and woman, or as man and man, or as woman and woman, Think would take care of the legalitities.

  2. Middle Ground View says:

    It is accepted by both sides of the debate that a popular vote by the people would ban gay marriage. It’s a shame that one side is using ‘alternative means’ to get their way.

    1. smb says:

      I find it a shame that the pro-ban side uses lies and fear to try to get their way.

    2. Yeah!! says:

      Just as it’s accepted by both sides that a popular vote by the people in Alabama or Mississippi or Georgia back in the day would have kept certain folks from using certain facilities.

      Then again, I understand they did have their own, so it really wasn’t all that bad.

  3. Jake says:

    What does the Islamic/Muslim faith think about ‘gay marriage’, let alone, gay sex?
    I would think that Mr. Ellison would be compromising his faith and/or beliefs by participating in such a ‘discussion’. I truly wonder how his religious leader feels about his ACTIONS on these issues.

    1. Then again says:

      I really don’t have a clue about what they think about it, so I don’t even know why I posted this comment.

  4. See BS says:

    Civil Unions are still valid for gay couples in California — Gay Activists just want to call it marraige so they can bully people and churches with lawsuits.

    Civil Unions fall under the same family codes and domestic partnership laws as marrige in the State of California.

    And Gay BLTers seem to hate religion anyway, so I guess I don’t understand what’s the big deal over a religious word?

    1. I see your BS says:

      Where do you get your facts, such as Gay BLTers hate religion. What a crock of you know what. And the bullying is coming from the folks who require me to defend myself on a daily, and now legal basis.

      And it all began with Anita Bryant. A sad, divorced, hater, who said that many would follow her lead.

  5. who cares says:

    I don’t know why people even care anymore. How does it even effect you.

    1. Cindy says:

      Ask the kids victimized at Penn St. how “gay” they feel about these types

      1. Gee says:

        That is one dumb comment. Sexual preference has nothing to do with being a sexual predator, but I guess that’s too abstract a concept for you to grasp.

      2. smb says:

        What does the gay marriage amendment have to do with a straight child molester?

  6. smb says:

    Amendments to the Constitution are supposed to end inequalities not enshrine them.

  7. Wildman says:

    We should ALL have equal rights no matter what popular vote says. What do we bring back slavery if popular vote goes for it, no we don’t.

  8. arbi says:

    GFAK (Go Fly A Kite)

  9. Ruth says:

    PLACING THIS BAN ON THE BALLOT IS REDUNDANT. MN ALREADY HAS A LAW AGAINST GAY MARIAGE. TRYING TO GET A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE TO MAKE THIS BAN PART OF THE MN CONSTITUTION IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. IT IS WRONG TO WRITE DISCRIMINATION INTO THE CONSTITUTION. I READ THAT SENIORS ARE TIPICALLY FOR THE BAN. WELL THIS SENIOR WAS NEVER ASKED. I (AND MANY OF MY FRIENDS) ARE AGAINST SUCH A BAN. MY HOPE IS THAT PEOPLE IN THIS STATE WILL BECOME MORE ENLIGHTENED AS THIS SUBJECT IS DISCUSSED.

  10. mel says:

    If gay marriage is legalized in Minnesota, how many lawsuits against pastors, priests, and ministers will there be when they refuse to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony? I can already see the lawyers licking their chops. And don’t tell me it won’t happen, cause you and I both know it will.

    1. Huh? says:

      There’s plenty of pastors, priests, ministers and rabbis around who won’t marry people of different faiths, or who won’t marry a couple if one’s previously been divorced. No one sues them. Nor could they because there’s no cause of action.

      Gimme a break.

    2. smb says:

      Just more lies told by the pro-ban side to scare people.

      Churches have the right to marry a couple or not, that won’t change.

      And to those who speak up for religious rights, what about those churches who do want to perform same-sex marriages. Why don’t you stand up for their rights?

  11. I'm Just Sayin' says:

    No anti Ellison comments allowed. When will WCCHOE come out with their endorsement of this flea bag?

  12. Kevin says:

    Ellison is garbage! But that being said…everyone I know tells me that Gay marriage is against their religon. I have been against Gay marriage. But after reading some of these comments…..I think I am changing my mind. As a man I feel I should have no say in the abortion issue. So as a hetrosexual why should I have a say with Gay marriage? Did I mention that Ellison is garbage?

    1. Mike says:

      Kevin. Would you care to clarify in detail your opinion of congressman Ellison?

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