AIDS Action Day at State Capitol
With the help of the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP), AIDS Action Day again took place at the State Capitol. HIV/AIDS advocates converged on the Minnesota Legislature to raise awareness and visibility about the disease, showing that funding still is needed, and that cutting it would be a huge blow to those infected, as well as to those working to decrease infection rates and find a cure. Attendees met with legislators, held a rally in the Capitol Rotunda, and heard personal stories from several people diagnosed with HIV. Putting real faces on the statistics made them more real for participants.
Historic Hearing on Marriage-Related Bills in Minnesota Senate
After a hearing on similar legislation on February 22 in the Minnesota House, bills legalizing same-sex marriage were brought up March 2 in the Minnesota Senate, and a hearing was held. Amy Johnson, Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota, said, “Legislators have seen that there is strong support for extending legal recognition to same-sex couples and their families by ending discrimination in marriage. Minnesotans know that marriage equality next door in Canada and now Iowa is not a threat to them or their families. In fact, polls show that the majority of Americans support creation of the sorts of legal frameworks and protections for same-sex couples. Today’s informational hearing in the Senate is a significant step toward ending this form of discrimination.”
First Lesbian U.S. Marshal Confirmed
Sharon Lubinski—who has been in law enforcement for 31 years, the last 23 with the Minneapolis Police Department—recently was confirmed by the US Senate as US marshal for the Minnesota district. She is the first openly gay US marshal, as well as the first female marshal for Minnesota. President Barack Obama, who nominated Lubinski, said in a press release, “Assistant Chief Lubinski has dedicated her career to the noble cause of protecting her fellow Americans. She has displayed exceptional courage in the pursuit of justice, and I am honored to nominate her to continue her selfless work as a US marshal for the District of Minnesota.”