With the Marriage Equality in place now for the LGBT couples, PFLAG’s focus is full steam ahead on  the anti-bullying front.  So much of what needs to be taught needs to begin at home.  It centers around the word “RESPECT”.  It used to be that the President of the United State commanded respect from everyone.  It didn’t matter if you chose that president or not, you still referred to him as Mr. President.  That commonality has seemed to erode significantly.  Now it seems that being RUDE is the new common attitude.  Whether we are in our cars or at home watching TV, we have a sense of anonymity.   We THINK that no one sees us, but is that true?  What about members of the family.  Children mimic what they see at home.  If it is ok for Mom or Dad to behave like that…surely it is ok for me to do it too.  So here we are….sending our children out into the world to be rude, nasty, sarcastic people.  Just when did that become alright??  Now we have kids bullying other kids because they are different.  Perhaps they are handi-capable children…or they are more effeminate or tomboyish… or they may like to wear different clothing than the norm… or wear their hair differently…or perhaps they have blemishes.  If you aren’t “normal” you must somehow be wrong.  Accordingly, it is then ok to make fun of the person who doesn’t fit the mold.  Unfortunately this has been evolving for some time.  The time is now, however, to turn things around.  Respect needs to become the renewed “NORM”.  That MUST start at home.  It MUST be preserved in our schools and it MUST be reinforced among our piers.  Until that happens, change is not going to happen.  Think about it.

There is a buzz in the air and it isn’t because of the bees.  More and more people are talking about the right to civil marriages for the LGBT community.  It is this buzz that will finally bring about the change that is needed to give LGBT couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded heterosexual couples.  It is this buzz that is changing the beliefs of Christians to understand that there is a difference between civil marriage and church ceremonies.   It is also this buzz that is breaking down the barriers of the lack of understanding and hate for the LGBT community.  President Obama declared DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) UNCONSTITUTIONAL.  “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” has been repealed.   Our very own Denny Smith of Winning Marriage Equality (  has been doing an outstanding job in his seminars teaching the differences between Faith and Belief helping to break down those barriers and finally bring an understanding to those who opposed same sex marriages.  A former major opponent of same sex marriage… a person who fired up the NOM folks into marching across the states preaching hate and dissention for gay marriage and gays as a whole has had a change of heart.  Louis J. Marinelli has discovered that the LGBT community are people too and not just some group to battle and hate.  He has completely done a 180 in his belief system BUT he has maintained his faith in God.  All across time, Christian beliefs have evolved, but faith in God has not.  This is our time to get out of our comfort zones and initiate more discussions on the subject.  Affording civil marriage ceremonies to the LGBT community will hurt no one.  More discussions can only lead to more understanding which should eliminate the fear of what is not understood.  So take flight, my friends.  Get a buzz going in the air.

4 Responses to Blog

  1. admin says:

    Welcome to our official PFLAG Blog. This is a place for everyone to feel comfortable adding pertinent information regarding PFLAG or issues surrounding the LGBT Community. Please… don’t be shy. This is your website. :-)

  2. admin says:

    If you are looking to be a part of something bigger than just yourself, consider joining Central Minnesota PFLAG. Last night PFLAG along with GAB got together to build an amazing float for Saturday’s Winter Nights and Lights parade. We all brought something to munch on and drink and then got to work building a float. Thomas did an amazing job building the framework of the float. Our Vice President of the Board of Directors of PFLAG, Dan, loaned his garage for the project and many of the members of PFLAG along with GAB pieced the project together. I can’t wait for tomorrow night to proudly display our hard efforts in the parade. Myrna and Ron are letting us use their pickup to pull their trailer that we decked out for the parade. I was able to borrow a generator from Bee Line Service in St. Joe that will bring the float to life . A huge thank you to everyone who participated from generating ideas to building a float we can all be very proud of.

    Dara Westra
    President of the Board of Directors
    Central MN PFLAG

  3. We human beings have created some real challenges for ourselves and each other trying to sort out the real meaning of difference. If each of us understands our self and accepts other, celebrates this wonderful gift of life, it is a great place to start.

    Mary Margaret

  4. admin says:

    PFLAG Marriage Equality Rally

    Last year when NOM (National Organization for Marriage) went on tour, they chose to make a stop here in St. Cloud, MN. To counter this insult, our PFLAG Organization organized a rally at Wilson Park. We had a wide range of speakers from the serious to the hilarious, but all had an important message to impart on their audience. We were excited to have press coverage, but what really made the rally a true success were the people who showed up. Earlier in the day, a young man by the name of Justin Michaels had organized a walk down Division Street to also counteract the NOM rally. He had about 150 participants. Those folks heard about our rally and joined us. In all we had in excess of 200 people present compared to the approximately 75 people that were at the NOM rally.

    This year, because we knew that Steve Gottwalt, Republican Representative to the House had chosen to introduce a bill to ban same sex marriages in the Minnesota Constitution, which unfortunately passed, we feel very strongly that it is once again critical to host a Marriage Equality Rally. This bill will unfortunately leave this all important decision up to voters in Minnesota to decide the fate of a minority of LGBT people. We plan to have some very unique speakers at this year’s rally which will take place at the Waite Park Pavilion.

    It is appalling that the rights of a minority should be voted on by the majority, but with the bill passed, it looks as though our only chance to counter its affects would be to spread the word and gather allies when it comes time to vote. Marriage Equality is a Constitutional Civil Rights issue and not one that should EVER be voted on by the people. What the introduction to this bill has done is made history books yet again with its insidious discrimination against a minority group. LGBT couples deserve the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness afforded heterosexual couples which includes the rights and responsibilities of married life. It is our goal to get everyone talking about the issue and eventually it will become so common place that those who feel the need to oppress a minority of people will go looking for their next victims because for the rights of the LGBT community, WE WILL WIN!

    This year’s events will once again start with the “Walk Above the Clouds” organized by Justin Michaels which will start at 1:00 p.m. at Barden Park (720 5th Avenue South) on St. Cloud’s SCSU campus and head down Division Street. It will stop prior to Highway 15, turn and head back to Barden Park. There will be shuttle service available from SCSU to the Waite Park Pavilion (151 13th Ave N, Waite Park, MN) where the Rally will take place so that we will not have parking issues in Waite Park. The Rally for Marriage Equality will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. Prior to that there will be a street vendor selling food as well as music. There are grills for cooking food as well. Gather ALL your friends, both straight and gay and join us for an evening of Power and Comradery.

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