On Thursday, March 29, five members of Southwest Minnesota State University’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally club (SMSU GLBTA) gathered on the steps of the State Capitol in St. Paul to stand with supporters from across the state. Minnesota’s is the largest lobby day in the country and is held every year to encourage lawmakers to pursue legislation which supports the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) individuals.
The event was co-sponsored by pro-GLBT groups Minnesotans United for All Families and Outfront Minnesota. Rally attendees got the chance to meet with their local lawmakers, participate in workshops, and hear speakers.
This year’s rally centered heavily around education on a hotly-contested piece of legislation appearing on the ballots this November. Minnesotans will be presented with the opportunity to vote on whether or not they want to alter the state’s constitution to restrict the definition of marriage as an exclusive institution between one man and one woman.
Although the amendment has passed successfully in 30 other states, groups opposing the amendment in Minnesota currently have a lot of momentum, including the support of Gov. Mark Dayton.
The SMSU GLBTA will be co-hosting a panel discussion on April 18 to promote awareness about the proposed amendment and answer any questions the public may have about it. A representative from Outfront Minnesota will be present at the panel.
Other issues covered at the rally included recognizing same-sex marriages from other states, bills to protect GBLT youth in public schools, and support for GLBT runaways and homeless youth.