Minnesota LGBT group supporting pro-marriage, anti-choice candidates

In news that is making me want to flip tables but isn’t particularly surprising, Minnesotans United for All Families (OH THE IRONY!), the state’s LGBT/marriage equality group, is using their PAC to support candidates that are anti-choice:

“We are truly saddened that the Minnesotans United PAC does not have our back when we need them,” said Sarah Jane Johnston, president of Minnesota National Organization for Women.

It’s the first sign of a fraying alliance among a once rock-solid coalition of 700 groups that Minnesotans United cobbled together to legalize same-sex marriage this year.

The shifting support could affect Minnesota’s legislative races and could have national implications. Same-sex marriage supporters have tried to convince uneasy legislators in other states that their vote on marriage will not sink their political careers.

Ah, yes! All families deserve to be able to choose exactly how those families are built and…wait what? Yes yes y’all, it’s happening: marriage, conservative institution that it is, is being taken up by conservatives who don’t give a shit about reproductive autonomy, racial justice, or really anything other than preserving their own wealth. And Minnesotans United? They don’t care what anyone thinks. They’re gonna get marriage by any means necessary! Even if they fuck over everyone else!

Ann Kaner-Roth, co-chairwoman of the Minnesotans United PAC, said the group has no plans to change course.

“We’ve been very transparent all along about a singular focus on gaining the freedom to marry for same-sex couples,” she said. “We were very laser-focused on this issue, and I think that is what brought together a coalition of such a broad base and interests.”

Who cares that lesbians and trans folks might need access to abortion? Who cares that identity does not equal behavior? Who cares that genderqueer and gender non-conforming folks are distinct targets of sexual assault, which may result in pregnancy? Who cares that BISEXUALS EXIST and are part of that LGBT and are having sex that could result in a pregnancy they don’t want? Or that trans folks are having sex that could result in pregnancy? Who cares that evidence points to queer and questioning girls and young women having higher risk of unplanned pregnancy? Not Minnesotans United!

While this is indeed completely absurd, for those of us who have been paying attention and critiquing marriage equality as a goal of the LGBT movement have been predicting this for years. Marriage, as I’ve pointed out here before – and many before me have pointed out all over the place – is ultimately a very conservative ask, one whose success is squarely dependent on the fact that it does not present any fundamental shifts in power or resources to those folks who most need it. In that way, it makes total sense for conservative legislators that do not support abortion access and other progressive issues to jump on the marriage equality bandwagon: they get to keep their heteropatriarchal values, wealth, and power, and maybe even gain some new (white, wealthy, well-behaved) gay supporters in the meantime.

If this doesn’t make my case that the reproductive justice movement – or ANY movement for social justice – shouldn’t model itself after the movement for marriage equality, I don’t know what will.

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

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