Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Matter of Social Justice . . .

Catholics Voting 'No' on BOTH Amendments

When: Saturday, September 29, 2012
(7:00-9:00 p.m.)

Where: Fellowship Hall, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
(700 Snelling Ave. S., Saint Paul, MN 55116)

Keynote Speaker: Jamie L. Manson.

On November 6 Minnesotans will be asked to vote 'yes' or 'no' on two ballot initiatives that seek to amend the state constitution. If either the 'voter photo ID amendment' or the 'marriage amendment' passes then the Minnesota constitution will be amended to restrict and/or deny important freedoms and rights to certain individuals and groups.

At C4ME-MN's September 29 event, A Matter of Social Justice, we'll hear from representatives of both 'Vote No' campaigns – Our Vote, Our Future and Minnesotans United for All Families. What's the latest news from both campaigns? How are their efforts proceeding? How can we get involved to help defeat both amendments? Come hear the answers to these and other questions on September 29.

Our keynote speaker for the evening will be National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie L. Manson (see bio below). Jamie will help us 'make the connections' between the 'voter photo ID amendment' and the 'marriage amendment' as they relate to the struggle for full equality of LGBT people. In making these connections, Jamie will draw from Catholicism's rich tradition of social justice and human rights.

As a matter of social justice for LGBT people and others who will be negatively impacted if either or both amendments are passed, please join us on September 29!

To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

About the amendments

The Minnesota 'voter photo ID amendment' is seen by many as a right-wing power grab. This is because it proposes measures to restrict minority voters (students, people of color, seniors, the poor) from the polls. These minority groups tend not to vote for right-wing agendas, including the undermining and/or prevention of LGBT rights legislation. A range of current and future advances in LGBT rights, not just 'marriage equality,' are thus threatened by the proposed 'voter photo ID amendment.' Proponents of the amendment say that it is needed to prevent or eliminate the threat of fraudulent voting. The campaign working to defeat the 'voter photo ID amendment' is Our Vote, Our Future.

The 'marriage amendment' will ask Minnesotans to vote on whether or not the state constitution should be amended so as to define marriage as “solely between one man and one woman.” If defeated, civil marriage rights will still be denied same-sex couples as Minnesota already bans these rights. However, if passed the 'marriage amendment' will send a hurtful message to LGBT individuals and families and make it virtually impossible for the courts to grant civil marriage rights to same-sex couples or for the state legislature to pass legislation in favor of such rights in the future. Proponents of the amendment say it is needed to "protect the sanctity of marriage." The campaign working to defeat the 'marriage amendment' is Minnesotans United for All Families.

About our keynote speaker

Jamie L. Manson received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics with Margaret Farley. Her weekly column, Grace on the Margins, appears in the National Catholic Reporter. Her writing has won numerous awards, most recently second place for Commentary of the Year (2012) from the Religion Newswriters (RNA). In January 2011, her essay on St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, was highlighted by Nicholas Kristof in his New York Times op-ed column. In November 2011, Jamie was a keynote speaker at the national Call to Action conference.

Jamie is the former editor in chief of the Yale magazine Reflections. As a lay minister, she has served two Manhattan churches in the roles of director of faith formation and as director of social justice ministries. In both churches she worked extensively with New York City’s homeless and poor populations

A frequent speaker and retreat leader, she is a regular homilist for the New York City chapter of DignityUSA, and has served on the board of the Women’s Ordination Conference.

Recommended Reading:
MN Voting Amendment Would Change Much More Than You Might Think – Mark Richie (MinnPost, September 6, 2012).
Voter ID Wars – Mo Rocca (New York Times, September 5, 2012).
Photo ID Edict Could Hit 215, 000 Minnesota Voters – Jim Ragsdale (Star Tribune, September 8, 2012).
For Some, Showing an ID to Vote Would Be Harder Than You Imagine – Haddayr Copley-Woods (Minnesota Public Radio, September 11, 2012).
Catholics, Lutherans and Voter ID – Lori Sturdevant (Star Tribune, September 8, 2012).
The Marriage Amendment as Decoy and How to Fight the Real Danger – Ricardo Levins Morales (Twin Cities Daily Planet, August 10, 2012).
Concise, Reasonable Answers to Marriage Equality Questions – Lisa Cressman (Star Tribune via The Wild Reed, January 19, 2012).
Catholic Q&A on the Minnesota 'Marriage Amendment' – Michael Bayly and Florence Steichen (Sensus Fidelium, August 7, 2012).
Why Catholics Can Vote 'No' – Bob Pierson, OSB (Sensus Fidelium, June 11, 2012).
Amendment Campaign Contrary to Church Moral Teaching – Paula Ruddy (The Progressive Catholic Voice, March 3, 2011).

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