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Friends

Friends

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Published by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger on Jun 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/27/2013

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Friends,Change happens. Sometimes it happens in the blink of an eye, but often it takes decades of organizing, fighting, and struggling for 
what’s right.
 Yesterday, at the United States Supreme Court, we saw what can come from that struggle. But we know it took decades of hard workto get there.On a brisk fall day in 1996, 85 United State Senators, including our dad, Paul Wellstone, voted to pass the Defense of Marriage Actthat limited the definition of marriage. Our dad spent a career in the Senate making one principled and courageous vote after another.This was an exception. Dad spent a lot of time reflecting, soul-searching, and apologizing about that vote.
In 2001 he wrote this, “What troubles me is that I may n
ot have cast the right vote on DOMA. When Sheila and I attended a Minnesotamemorial service for Matthew Shepard, I thought to myself, 'Have I taken a position that contributed to a climate of hatred?'"By 2002, groups like the Human Rights Campaign gave
him a 100% rating for his votes in the Senate. In our dad’s journey, we see
hope for a sustained movement: changing hearts, shaping policy, and effecting change, one person, one community, and onedecision at a time.
The Supreme Court’s decision on Wednes
day to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act is a historic step forward. But it only
happened because over many years, organizers across the country worked to build a movement. At Wellstone Action, we’re proud
tobe a part of that movement, equipping leaders with a training foundation to effectively champion causes, elect progressives, andmobilize to action.
That’s the Wellstone Triangle: sustained change happens only when grassroots organizing, electoral politics, and public polic
y arecombined to build a movement.
There’s still more work to do. The majority of Americans live in states where marriage is not available to everyone. But prog
ress isafoot.
Together, we’ve built a movement for change. Together, we made history. Our work continues, the figh
t goes on, together we work
towards a “future that belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
 

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