The Agenda is TheColu.mn’s weekly roundup of LGBT news from around Minnesota.

Culture

In Hmong Today, Kong Pha gives readers a look at what marriage equality in Minnesota means to Hmong LGBTQ people.

“Hmong LGBTQ people come from all over the United States to come to the Twin Cities to seek community. Legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota is another reason that the Hmong LGBTQ community in the Twin Cities is going to grow even bigger.”

Legal

A transgender woman is suing a plasma center for discrimination after it would not allow her to donate, the Star Tribune reports.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights investigated the CSL outlet on Washington Avenue SE. and found that the for-profit company discriminated against Scott because of her sexual orientation in 2008 when the nurse told her that she was disqualified.
CSL told state investigators that it has a policy forbidding transsexuals from donating plasma, even though “there are no federal laws prohibiting transsexuals from plasma donation,” the state agency’s findings noted.

Minnesota Pride

A study of same-sex couples shows that Minneapolis ranks third in the nation. Only Seattle, followed by San Francisco had a higher concentration of same-sex couples than Minneapolis.

While Minneapolis has one of the highest percentages of same-sex couples in the nation, Minnesota has earned a spot on the list top 10 places for LGBT workers, according to a new study.

The report notes that:

General Climate for LGBTs: Minnesota has had an active gay rights movement since the 1970s. Its central hub, Minneapolis, has one of the largest gay populations of any city in the nation.
Legal Protections: Minnesota has prohibited discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity since 1993. In fact, Minnesota was the first state to implement gender identity protections. Minnesota’s bias crime law specifically prohibits hate crimes based on sexual orientation. As of August 2013, same-sex couples have been legally permitted
to marry.
Local Protections: The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have both passed legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Corporate Initiatives: Sixteen of the companies receiving a perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index are headquartered in Minnesota, making it the state with the third most top-ranked workplaces.

Marriage Equality

A gay Wisconsinite is seriously considering leaving the state to move to Minnesota.

“While still stinging from this fresh slap in the face, I read the news about the mayor of Minneapolis touring Wisconsin to invite same-sex couples to get married there. He said it openly: Move to Minnesota and enjoy equal rights. And you know what? That’s a hard invitation to turn down. My partner and I have started looking for jobs up there, and if we find something suitable for both of us, we’ll consider heading to the promised land. I moved to Wisconsin years ago because I thought it was a relatively progressive state. I don’t know what happened to the place.”

Equality-minded folks are considering flocking to the state, but there are still some less than welcoming voices in Minnesota.

In a column for the St. Cloud Times, Cathy Williamson wonders why marriage equality happened in Minnesota, considering her view of scripture and scientific research says it should not be so.

There’s just not any indication here that God is pro-homosexual behavior.
The biblical God of love would have homosexuals turn to him for a change of heart, not a change of status.
Yes, I wonder at the abysmal research that supported the promotion of homosexual marriage. But I wonder more that we Minnesotans, well educated and replete with Christian churches, settled for such poor scholarship and skewed biblical understanding. What were we thinking?

If you found her column depressing, be sure to read the comments. For a change from the usual invective, a comment section was filled with kind words for LGBT Minnesotans and their rights.

Minnesota Nice

The Huffington Post has a nice piece on Betty Crocker’s celebration of National Coming Out Day.

Betty Crocker released a heartwarming video today showcasing not only the company’s support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, but a commitment to highlighting and celebrating the diversity of families. The video is a part of Betty Crocker’s new Families Project, an initiative that seeks to evidence the ways in which not all families are the same but the idea of a family is merely defined by love.

Here’s the video:

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