The Walker has been vocal about its opposition to a constitutional amendment on the Minnesota ballot today that would restrict the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. We join more than 120 other nonprofit cultural organizations across that state that are taking this stand. As executive director Olga Viso wrote back in May:
“We affirm that love is love, and that the Minnesota Constitution—a document created to define rights instead of impose restrictions—should not be amended to make value judgments about love… But beyond that, we realize that creative communities like ours thrive when we can all be ourselves. The immensely talented people we work with include many who are gay and lesbian, and we support them and see them as friends and equals. We also recognize that the healthiest creative climates are open to all. To foster creativity, to attract artists and audiences, and to grow the state’s economy during difficult times, we believe we must be welcoming to all, regardless of the gender of their loved ones.”
This morning, we visually reiterated these values. We turned over the lawn beside our building to 100 or more “Vote No” signs–provided by staff, friends, neighbors, and the Minnesotans United for All Families campaign–to give those who pass through our busy intersection a bold reminder of where we stand (and a colorful reminder to get out and vote). Then we invited staff and members of the community–not to mention a wandering Gandalf carrying a “You Shall Not Pass” marriage amendment sign–to join us for a “Vote No” family photo. Despite blustery weather, several dozen people showed up from all Walker departments, the neighborhood, and beyond.
Update 11.07.12: We’re pleased to report that the marriage amendment–along with the voter ID amendment–were defeated by Minnesota voters Tuesday.
Nate Solas, the Walker’s head technologist, came in on his day off to share Minnesota-shaped “Vote No” cookies he and his daughter Isla made:
Digital marketing associate Kristina Fong and artist Sam Gould of Red76 give the constitutional amendment the thumbs down:
Walker director Olga Viso, who wrote that the Walker believes the amendment is “an unnecessary measure, but also one that would make our state a less welcoming place.”
Walker performing arts intern Anat Shinar, with husband Sam Baker and daughter Miri, braved the winds…
…and later posed with Sheila Smith (at left below) of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts:
Michèle Steinwald, assistant curator of performing arts, couldn’t make the photo: she took the day off to doorknock for Minnesotans United. But she and her neighbors in the Kingfield neighborhood, Robert Litvak and Chris McGrath, sent in a photo in solidarity.
Following our photo shoot, “Gandalf”–aka Adam Sharp–continued canvassing Hennepin Avenue for at least two hours:
We’d like to thank all those who came by for the photo, all those who dropped off signs in our front yard, and–most importantly–all those who vote against this constitutional amendment.
More photos from the morning:
All photos by Paul Schmelzer unless otherwise noted.