The majestic Minnesota state capitol building, was a little more colorful than usual on April 18. The law-makers at the capitol in their formal business attire were contrasted by people of all walks of life. Advocates filtered off of yellow school buses that came from all over the state, wearing colorful clothing to match the colorful signs they were holding. They were all gathering to support Out Front Minnesota Lobby Day, which was not slowed in any way by the unseasonal spring wind and snow.
The day started out with a gathering on the lawn, where the leaders of Out Front pumped up the supporters to go into the building. Inside, people started to make appointments to meet with their representatives, either to encourage, support or thank them for their support of equal marriage rights in Minnesota.
At the visitors entrance of the capitol building everyone was greeted by the singing of a hymn: “We want the whole package for love/to be married takes love/we want the whole package for love.”
Janet Anderson, who has been a big activist in the gay community along with her partner, wrote these lyrics especially for the day. Her motivation for writing it was to bring some order to chaos.
“Every time I went to a day of action, both sides were shouting at the other side and not listening to what the other side had to say. With a song, it is a more peaceful and harmonious way to communicate and help everyone maintain positive mental attitudes and open minds,” said Anderson.
Two cheerful supporters were pastor Lloyd Heroff and his wife Doris. They are from Herman, Minn., where he is currently an interim pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church. They have been supporting the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) community for 30 years at various churches he has served at, including one in the Boys Town/Lake View neighborhoods of Chicago. Certain parts of the Lutheran church have been progressive on including the LGBT community in their parish. Some of these actions have included accepting gay clergy who are in committed relationships and recording same-sex ceremonies.
The Heroffs inspired a member of their congregation, Beverly Hoernemann, to come with them for the day’s events. Hoernemann was excited to be at her first freedom rally. She has been happily married for 37 years and wants to share the joy.
“How could I possibly deny people the same privileges that I have enjoyed and why should anyone get to tell another person who to love?” said Hoernemann.