Hundreds of LGBT Minnesotans and their allies rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday to pressure lawmakers to advance policies such as same-sex marriage, a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, comprehensive sex education, and immigration reform that includes LGBT families. Gov. Tim Pawlenty — and interestingly, Sen. Amy Klobuchar — where the targets of criticism, the former for blocking LGBT legislation and the latter for not taking leadership on the issues. The LGBT Lobby Day Rally was sponsored by OutFront Minnesota.

Dozens of lawmakers — all DFLers — greeted the crowd. Sen. Scott Dibble introduced them and urged attendees to visit Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s office to give him feedback on the five pro-LGBT bills he has vetoed.

Wes Davey of Vets for Peace criticized Sen. Amy Klobuchar for not sponsoring a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He and a colleague held up a sign with Klobuchar’s phone number and asked rally-goers to put her number in their cell phones (You can read my report on the criticism of Klobuchar at the Minnesota Independent).

OutFront Minnesota executive director Amy Johnson rallied the crowd to take action and contact their elected officials. She also said the upcoming race for the governor’s office was the most important election for the LGBT community in Minnesota.

Sen. Mee Moua gave an empowering speech about the need to move forward on LGBT equality telling the rally-goers that “You are all my family and I am yours.”

There were a lot of LGBT and allied youth at the rally this year, many with homemade signs.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.



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