After eight years of Tim Pawlenty in the Governor’s office, in which the LGBT community and our allies suffered a string of insults, defeats, and attacks on our basic rights, it’s a little strange to have all three DFL candidates for governor trying to see who’ll be the strongest supporter of marriage equality. This embarrassment of riches has made it pretty tough to decide who to vote for, so to help you out, we’ve compiled short profiles of each DFL candidate to show you where they stand on key community issues BESIDES marriage equality, which each candidate has promised to pass while they are governor.

Speaker Kelliher (Photo: Wikimedia/Appraiser)
Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Marriage equality: Strong Supporter. She also has the endorsement of OutFront Minnesota and the Stonewall DFL.

School safety for LGBT youth: As Speaker of the House, Kelliher helped push the Safe Schools For All bill to Pawlenty’s desk in 2009. The bill would have required all public schools to come up with anti-bullying policies that protected students from bullying based on perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and appearance. Kelliher has promised that she will shepherd the same bill through the legislature and sign it during her term, if elected

LGBT youth homelessness: Kelliher wants to make sure staff at shelters and other homeless service agencies are trained on LGBT issues, and wants to put in place policies and procedures for shelters to ensure they’re welcoming and safe places for LGBT youth. Lastly, she supports maintaining funding for drop-in centers and street outreach that work with homeless youth.

Discrimination against LGBT people of color: Kelliher wants too use the existing human rights laws to address racism and homophobia, along with “training educational professionals and reaching out to social service organizations.”

Securing respect for LGBT Minnesotans in healthcare institutions: Kelliher says she supports laws mandating equal access to comprehensive, competent, affordable, quality health care, and has proposed establishing a single-payer healthcare system for Minnesota. She also promises to make sure “that our physician training programs are preparing the next generation of doctors to provide competent care to every Minnesotan no matter who they are.”

Former US Senator Dayton (Photo: Wikimedia/Official Portrait)
Mark Dayton

Marriage equality:Like Kelliher, Dayton is a strong supporter.

School safety for LGBT youth: Like Kelliher, Dayton has said that, if elected, he will make sure the Safe Schools For All bill is passed during his term as governor.

LGBT youth homelessness: Dayton wants to focus on upholding the state’s “commitment to end long-term homelessness” through speeding up the construction of affordable housing. He also wants to use additional revenue generated by his tax plan – which would raise taxes on Minnesotan households making more than $150,000 per year, after deductions – to fully fund the 2007 Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, which would (among other things) help public schools with homeless students to keep them in school, and help them graduate with a full high school diploma.

Discrimination against LGBT people of color: Dayton has pledged to be a vocal opponent of racism and homophobia if elected. He told TheColu.mn he would would work with the Commissioner of Human Rights and the Attorney General to “assure that the State of Minnesota acts as forcefully as possible to prevent or halt any discrimination, bias, or bigotry”

Securing respect for LGBT Minnesotans in healthcare institutions: Dayton supports the idea of a healthcare system that respects LGBT Minnesotans, but has not offered any specific policy prescriptions.

Former State House Minority Leader Entenza (Photo: Wikimedia/Jonathunder)
Matt Entenza

Matt Entenza did not reply to TheColu.mn’s questionnaire, but his website trumpets his support for marriage equality, and previous stands he’s taken against racism, sexism, and xenophobia. In addition, his running mate Robyne Robinson has long been an ally of the LGBT community, and he has been endorsed by the Stonewall DFL

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