Yesterday was truly a Red Letter Day in Minnesota on two fronts! Let me talk about the weather first, which is what people usually talk about when they refer to Minnesota as being so cold and having winters that last eight months!
Let me preface my statement by saying we have had an unusually cold spring
with many of the Northern lakes still covered in ice. As of last weekend
one of our larger lakes, Mille Lacs, still had as much as twenty inches of ice
covering it! As far as I know, much of that ice is still there. Often
times our governor will go to Mille Lacs for the fishing opener, which was last
Since the lake was covered with ice which much of it ended up in backyards
and even destroyed buildings and damaged houses when the ice shifted onto the
shore last week, the governor's fishing opener was held on another lake.
Many of our resorts, boat rentals, bait shops and other fishing-related
businesses are hurting because of the extremely cold weather and lack of
fishing-related revenue. The fishing opener in Minnesota is a big deal for many
people in this state, and a tremendous amount of money changes hands. It gets
the economy moving in many parts of the state after our famous long winters.
Even up to a week ago we had snowfall here in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis
and St. Paul. Now, here is where it starts to get weird. Yesterday, the
temperature in Minneapolis was 98°! That set a record for the hottest May
fourteenth on record! Today it is only supposed to get up into the 80s. Now,
they are telling us we could see more snow again by the end of the week or
early next week. There is really something going on with climate change!
Minnesota is not the only area of the country seeing extreme weather
patterns that are hard to explain. I am not looking forward to what the summer
will bring weather-wise throughout the country. From last year's drought
through the Plains states to record rainfalls in the East, with hurricanes is
far north as Maine to severe drought through the Central Valley of California,
we could be in for another strange summer.
Now, for the other exciting event from yesterday, let me spend a little time
addressing groundbreaking, civil rights legislation that was signed into law by
our Governor, Mark Dayton. If you have not already heard, Minnesota
became the twelfth state to legalize and put into law same-sex marriage!
I am very excited to see our legislature and governor make it legal for two
people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together
as a couple, and just happen to be of the same gender to know they can be
legally married as of August first! This is a huge step forward for the civil
rights of the LGBT community!
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination on the basis of racial,
ethnic, national and religious minorities, as well as women. It ended unequal
application for voter registration, racial segregation in schools, the
workplace and public accommodations.
It was the first legislation of its kind and opened the door for the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law July 26, 1990.
Granted, the last two laws I mentioned were national laws, and Minnesota's
same-sex marriage law is just a state law, but they are all steppingstones to
get where we are today and hopefully where we are going in the future.
The Constitution begins with, "We the people ... " which I believe
means everyone. It is an ever-changing document as testimony to all of the
amendments written since the original document. Remember, it was only 1920 when
women were given the right to vote. All of these types of issues take time for
acceptance by the entire population. But can anyone imagine today women not
having the right to vote?
The Constitution also reads, "All men are created equal ... "
First of all, we are not all men. Secondly, as we all know, we are not all
equal. That is true on many levels, and is material for another post.
I know I have written another long post. However, I believe it is warranted
since yesterday was a very eventful day.
As always, I encourage your comments.