Minnesota Archdiocese wanted to label marriage equality-supporting priest ‘disabled’

The investigation of alleged cover-ups of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has brought a flurry of court documents which reveal some details of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s war on gay marriage. In one case, the Archdiocese allegedly considered having a priest labelled disabled to silence his support of marriage equality.Father Michael Tegeder of St. Francis Cabrini and Gichitwaa Kateri has been an outspoken critic of Nienstedt’s assault on LGBT rights. He was sharply critical of the anti-gay marriage amendment that was on the ballot in 2012.He was so outspoken, Nienstedt threatened to remove him from ministry.“If you choose not to offer your resignation, but continue to act openly or speak publicly about your opposition to Church teaching, I will suspend your faculties to exercise ministry and remove you from your ministerial assignments,” Nienstedt wrote to Tegeder in a letter in November 2011.But behind the scenes, Nienstedt was considering other measures to silence Tegeder. Continue Reading


Anti-Marriage vote: A year later

It’s a year today since we voted on the anti-marriage amendment. This time last year we were at a stopping point in a long, difficult, involuntary journey. It was a nervous 18 months, leading up to a horribly scary day. Continue Reading

OPINION | What does marriage equality mean for the Hmong American community?

Minnesota finally passes marriage equality (otherwise known as legalizing same-sex marriage)! After a grueling campaign to stop the government from defining marriage as strictly between one man and one woman during last year’s election, supporters of marriage equality finally saw the governor sign the bill into law on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. That makes Minnesota the 12th state in the country to pass marriage equality. What does this mean for the Hmong American community? Hmong Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) will now be able to marry their partners. This will set a new precedent for us to rethink about our community and what is in store for us for the future. How will marriage change for us as Hmong Americans? Hmong LGBTQ may not be able to marry the “Hmong way,” but they are certainly going to do so the “American way.” Even then, we will all have to start rethinking how we see “family” and “community” in Hmong American society.

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COMMUNITY VOICES | Update: The Uptake’s marriage equality film

As of this posting, The Uptake is short by more than $7,700 of its Kickstarter fundraiser deadline goal of $21,211 for its documentary project on the struggle for marriage equality in Minnesota; that deadline arrives on SEPT 6 at 11:59 p.m.  The Uptake, a non-profit, citizen-propelled video news service, says its program on how Minnesotans successfully fought for marriage equality will be crafted for a national TV audience.  The gubernatorial signing of Minnesota’s marriage equality legislation came just six months after the unexpected defeat of the discriminatory constitutional marriage definition amendment question on the November 2012 ballot.  “That’s our story,” says The Uptake’s Mike McIntee. The Uptake can select interviews, demonstrations, legislative debates and protests from hundreds of hours of streamed and taped video from its own coverage and the video vault of the Minnesota United for All Families, the lead organization in the fight for equality.If the funding pledge deadline goal is made, the The Uptake will be good to go.  But if the $21,211 Kickstarter pledge goal is not reached by 11:59 p.m. on September 6, the film will not be produced.  The project will need to pay for such production costs as sifting through and selecting video clips from three years of coverage, scripting, digitizing the chosen footage for computer editing, music use fees, audio mixing, graphics and some promotion. Referring to the documentary’s small budget, McIntee says, “There’s some money in here for promotion and distribution, but not a lot.  We’re hoping that once we get this made other like-minded organizations are going to help us out on that.  It will get seen nationally.  Free Speech TV is one outlet for that.  I’m hoping that others will be available as well.” During the evening ramp up to the first, legal, same-sex marriage ceremonies at Midnight on August 1st, I assisted McIntee and Uptake videographer Bill Sorem at the Wilde Roast Restaurant at St. Anthony-on-Main.  They were live-streaming interviews of couples, activists and political supporters of the marriage equality campaign that I was recruiting from the jovial and reflective celebrants.  The three of us later added to that footage at Minneapolis City Hall before, during and after Mayor R.T. Ryback legally married the first group of 46 same-sex couples.  You’ll see clips of the evening in my accompanying video. McIntee explained that if the target amount is not raised by the September 6 deadline, pledged gifts will not be processed – prospective donors will keep their money. If the deadline goal of $21,211 is reached or surpassed, donations will be tax deductible.Here is the link to the film project’s information and pledge page at Kickstarter. 9/3/2013: It’s Kickstarter, not Quickstarter. Continue Reading