It wasn't until 2001 that the state of Minnesota officially decriminalized homosexuality. Minnesota Public Radio has been covering the long-running debate over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Minnesota for decades. From the end of the 19th century to this day, LGBT Midwesterners have received a warmer reception in the Twin Cities than in other parts of the state, and for this reason Minneapolis is often called “The San Francisco of the Midwest.”
April 17, 2007 — Years after the 9/11 attacks, many Minnesotans say they are still feeling uneasy around one another. A new study by Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights documents both overt and subtle discrimination against the state's minority groups. Minnesota Public Radio's Roseanne Pereira reports the study's findings are being spread in a number of ways.
March 31, 2006 — The debate in Minnesota over gay marriage was prompted by a court decision three years ago in Massachusetts. The Supreme Court there decided the Massachusetts constitution allowed same sex couples to marry, and gay couples have been getting married there for the past two years. But that has not ended the debate over the decision and whether it should be allowed to stand. Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck visited Massachusetts and has this story.
January 28, 2005 — The resettlement of Hmong refugees from a camp in Thailand has been temporarily put on hold. The State Department stopped the resettlement when a case of Tuberculosis was identified in one refugee already in Minnesota. Four more refugees are suspected to have TB and are undergoing more testing.
April 7, 2004 — CATHY Three Minnesotans and a Minnesota organization will be honored tonight at the 8th annual Ann Bancroft Awards, which recognize the achievements of girls and women. One of the winners is a 17-year-old African-American student. Tsione Wolde-Michael (see OWN wold --like mold-- michael) is the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants. She attends Totino-Grace High School in Fridley... where she's worked to promote tolerance and fight discrimination. Wolde-Michael founded the school's first Diversity Club. Last year, she was chosen to spend a summer at Yale as part of the "Junior Statesmen of America Program." Tsione Wolde-Michael says after she arrived at Totino Grace... she had second-thoughts about staying there.
March 22, 2004 — Several thousand people attended a rally at the Capitol today in support of a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. Supporters of the ban say they want the Minnesota constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. While ban supporters rallied outside the Capitol, their allies in the Senate tried, but failed, to force a floor vote. Opponents of the amendment say the measure is mean spirited and would codify discrimination in the Minnesota Constitution. Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Scheck reports...
November 21, 2003 — The issue of gay marriage has elicited a strong response from our listeners. Several of you called our comment line yesterday after we aired a National Public Radio commentary by Stanley Kurtz.... who opposes gay marriage. Kurtz said gay marriages... by definition can't produce children... and allowing them would undermine what he calls the "symbolic link" between marriage and parenthood. That... he says... would lead to more out-of-wedlock births and more family disillusionment. He says this has already happened in Scandanavian countries.. where gay marriages have been allowed for a decade. But this listener... from Minneapolis... questions the comparison to Scandanavian countries.
November 20, 2003 — Two Republican state legislators said today (THURSDAY) they'll push a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Their announcement comes two days after the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that gay couples have the right to marry under that state's constitution. The Minnesota legislators say defining marriage in the state constitution would ensure that voters, not judges, decide the issue. Minnesota Public Radio's Laura McCallum reports...
November 19, 2003 — The Massachusetts Supreme Court yesterday struck down a ban on gay and lesbian marriage. The court gave lawmakers six months to change state laws, a move that could make Massachusetts the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage. Phil Duran is the Legal Policy Analyst at OutFront Minnesota, the largest organization serving the state's gay-lesbian-bisexual and trans-gender communities. He says the Massachusetts ruling has revived debate about same-sex marriage in Minnesota, but will have little impact on the state's gay and lesbian couples.
October 15, 2003 — Coaches, athletes, and academics will gather at the University of Minnesota today to discuss homophobia in sports. The panel discussion is sponsored by the school's Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport. Three speakers will address the challenges they've faced as gays and lesbians in the sports world, and suggest strategies for a more inclusive system. Mary Jo Kane is the director of the Tucker Center. She's on the line now. That is Mary Jo Kane, director of the University of Minnesota's Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport. The Tucker Center is sponsering a panel discussion tonight called "Homophobia in Sports: Breaking Barriers by Breaking the Silence."
August 5, 2003 — Minnesotans are getting a rare opportunity to see an exhibit that examines the ways Nazis persecuted homosexuals during the time period between 1933 and 1945. The display at the Y-W-C-A in downtown Minneapolis contains 250 reproductions of historic photographs and documents of the era. The materials come from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum based in Washington, D-C. The exhibit looks at the German law that allowed the Nazis to prosecute gays and other individuals deemed to be engaging in indecent behavior. The law stated that certain people should be penalized because their "vices" would lead to the downfall of the German nation. I toured the exhibit this morning with Linnea Stenson, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for G-L-B-T Studies. Stenson says most people know of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. But she says not everyone is aware that other groups were also targeted by the Nazis -- including gypsies, people with mental or physical handicaps, and homosexuals