Scott's Speech at the 2012 DFL State Convention
Scott Dibble speaks at the DFL state convention. Video from MN4allfamilies on YouTube.
The following is a copy of Scott's prepared remarks to be delivered to the DFL state convention on June 2, 2012 in Rochester, Minnesota.
It is an honor to be here with you today representing Minnesotans United for All Families. I know many of you are familiar with our organization and campaign and have been with us since the beginning. For those of you who don't already know, Minnesotans United for All Families is the official statewide campaign, actually a movement, working to defeat the constitutional amendment that would limit the freedom to marry for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples.
Minnesota is the 31st state in the country to be faced with this question and we will be the first to defeat it. It. Stops. Here! Because Minnesota is better than this.
I would like to tell you more about the campaign, our campaign, a movement really, how we are spreading our message, and most importantly, to ask you for help. We need you. We need the people in this room — the people who care deeply about love, commitment and freedom — to be with us now, and in November. We need you talking to your friends, family, neighbors — to help us to reach as many people as possible — I know for a fact we will win this because you know as well as I do, LOVE IS LOVE, AND IT BELONGS TO EVERYONE.
I met my now husband Richard over 10 years ago. I was hit like a bolt of lightning — I fell in love with this man. It was disorienting at first, mostly because it happened so fast. But the man I met in that day — is the man I still love very, very much. We have built a good life together, at times supporting each other through very difficult health challenges and challenges to his small business from the ravages of the Great Recession.
He and I both grew up in observant Catholic families. Richard's father, Al — 90 years old and a devout Catholic who still attends church every day he can — looks at us the same way he looks at his older daughter — as a married couple. He is one of our strongest supporters. Al has always known that love is love and we ALL deserve to be treated fairly. And he said so in his toast to us at our wedding four years ago.
Al is no different than you or me. He spent a life working as a builder, provided for his family and is now retired. He raised three loving and successful children. My father in law recognizes the importance of wanting Richard and I to be together in a loving and committed relationship — the same relationship as his own and his daughters.
Fundamentally, this is about treating people the way YOU want to be treated, the Golden Rule. As Minnesotans, this is engrained in us from the day we eat our first lefse, or tortilla, or perogi or pasty. As children, and as hard-working adults — the lesson is always the same: everyone in this country yearns for the same opportunities in life, the same happiness, the same freedoms as everyone else- NO MORE, AND NO LESS. It is about the freedom to live our lives with dignity, honor and respect. Government should not have the authority to say no to that.
This is what our campaign is about: Love and commitment; freedom granted by the United States Constitution and the Golden Rule — simple as that.
We have an incredible coalition of people involved already in this effort — Democrats (thank you to our chair, Ken Martin, and David DeGrio, chair of Stonewall DFL for serving on the leadership team) and Republicans (though I wish they'd elect some better legislators), faith leaders representing over 200 denominations and congregations, people from every single walk of life, seniors, college students, veterans, teachers, DFL STATE DELEGATES, labor and business and everyone in between is on our side for this effort — the right side of history. And they are ready to go.
On November 6, they will join all Minnesotans and will be asked: Do we want to prevent love and to deny freedom? Between now and November 6th, it will be a hard and long campaign. 30 states before us have faced this question and have not affirmed equality. But in Minnesota we know that love is love, nothing say family like marriage, that we are all endowed with the same freedoms and it is NOT OK to limit the freedom to marry.
After all, this is the state that brought the world Warren Berger, and Eugene McCarthy, and Walter Mondale, and Allan Spear…and the great Hubert Humphrey. It was Hubert Humphrey who said, "freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate." We will win this by talking face-to-face with anyone and everyone we can — by speaking with those who know us, who trust us, those we love that we must stand up for love. We must stand up for fairness. We must ensure that all the people of this state have the same opportunities as everyone else.
And we will ask a simple question, "What does marriage mean to you?" And we will hear, "I fell in love, wanted to build a life together, stand in front of my families and friends to ask for their support and share in our joy. And you will say, "Exactly. It's that simple." And hearts will open up — and then we win.
WE NEED YOU TO: contribute to the campaign, whether it's one dollar or fifty — any bit helps.
WE NEED YOU TO: get out, pound the pavement and tell the people of this state why it is so important to VOTE NO. You will find people all around the convention hall in their orange and blue VOTE NO t-shirts, and at the Stonewall DFL booth that can talk more about volunteer opportunities between now and November. Or go to www.mnunited.org.
WE NEED YOU TO: get out into your communities and tell your neighbors...and your friends...and everyone you can that you need their help, too. Polls continue to show a tight race — and will until Election Day. And we are at the beginning of what we hope will be a long and productive discussion. There is no room for complacency — the stakes are simply too high. What happens in November will define Minnesota for a generation and will determine whether we are on the right or the wrong side of history.
This is it. This is our time. Our time to honor the hard work of our mothers, fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers who made this such a great state…to pass the state we dream of on to those who come after us. Our democracy and our freedom are too important to fail.
Together, Richard and I are confident that when the people in this room put their mind to something, anything is possible. Thank you for your time, attention, and your passion.