Vote for gay equality

I am haunted by the recent suicides of teens who identified or were seen as gay. The rash of deaths has continued to shed light on the ongoing fight in MinnesotaâÄôs own Anoka-Hennepin School District. Advocates for anti-bullying policies and LGBT support groups are squaring off against those who want to squash the âÄúhomosexual agenda.âÄù
If youâÄôre like me, youâÄôre feeling helpless. I have no say in the Anoka-Hennepin battle. As a straight woman lucky enough to escape high school unscathed, I canâÄôt even contribute an encouraging video to Dan SavageâÄôs inspiring âÄúIt Gets Better.âÄù
But thereâÄôs one place we can all speak up (or quietly mark a box) for equality: the voting booth. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton has pledged to sign the âÄúSafe Schools for AllâÄù bill, a measure to prevent bullying that includes LGBT concerns. Republican Tom Emmer has been unwilling to support the bill, which Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed in 2009.
Dayton has also promised to work toward marriage equality as well as visitation and final wishes rights for same-sex couples.
We canâÄôt stop Justin Aaberg, Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown or Tyler Clementi from making those tragically final decisions. We canâÄôt go into schools and directly stop harassment. But we can vote for Mark Dayton on Nov. 2 and take a small step toward equal rights for everyone.