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.”
June 12, 1972 - MPR reporter Dulcie Lawrence summarizes events at the DFL state convention.
June 12, 1972 - Jack Baker talks about similar goals of the state convention women's caucus and the gay rights caucus. The women's caucus is essentially tearing down and rejecting male chauvinism. So is the gay rights caucus.
July 28, 1972 - MPR’s Paul Gruchow presents interview about the unfair treatment and racism against Black women working in General Mills and other corporations.
September 7, 1972 - After racial disturbances at several Minneapolis high schools last year, human relations programs are appearing in high schools. Central High School has a course called "Woman, Search for Herself" that deals with relationships among high school girls who come from different racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups. Teachers want to develop areas of communication. Students with different backgrounds tend to interact very little with other groups. There is little dialogue between black and white women, but when there aren't men in the classroom women start talking to each other. They have common concerns, illustrated by discussions about what it means to be a woman. The teachers talk about Women's Liberation and different student opinions about it. Inserted song sung by Nina Simone. Content of course comes out of rap sessions with students.
October 6, 1972 - Kate Millett speaks at Macalester College on discrimination against women professionals, and about women academics at Columbia appealing to HEW for fair treatment. ERA still not ratified, women have always worked, for longer hours and smaller rewards and less agreeable tasks than men. What happened to the protestors of a few years ago? The forces of change: the young, black, gay, women and the poor are a factor. The revolution is going on in our midst whether we know it or not, and America is being reborn from the inside. Need to be deeply commited to change whether it's popular or unpopular, not as campus fashion but a way of life.
March 13, 1973 - Reaction to Supreme Court decision to uphold veterans' preference laws. Veterans' preference, discrimination, and women's rights in the military are discussed.
September 2, 1973 - Provision to treat women fairly in terms of getting financial credit. Women's rights, credit rating, and discrimination are also discussed.
October 17, 1973 - Anderson details steps to deal with the energy crisis and fuel shortage in Minnesota and the nation. He says conservation measures and sacrifices are needed, as well as national leadership for state cooperation. He talks about labor unions vs. environmentalists, citing Reserve Mining as an example of resolved conflict. Finally he discusses women?s role in politics, discrimination, and says a larger pool of women with law training is needed.
May 13, 1974 - State Senator Spear talks about the formation of the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights, a broad-based movement for gay rights in Minnesota, to bring gay rights into the mainstream of the human rights movement. The goal is to achieve full equality for gay people and rights in Minnesota, change the law, public attitude, educate people, politicize, and create a better life in Minnesota for gay people.
January 6, 1975 - Spear talks about the need to make a distinction between moral and non-moral issues in making legislative decisions. He says a legislator is supposed to represent independent judgment, particularly in cases of human rights issues. He speaks about voting for gay rights in the legislature, gays holding public office, and why he makes a public statment on being gay.