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Maybe it’s a function of necessity, but civil rights organizations have realized the only way to make sure the Republicans don’t lie, cheat, and steal their way to an electoral victory in November is to come together and support each others previously siloed causes.
The latest evidence in this liberal coalition building can be found in the upper Midwest, where Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota has come out to take a public stand against two constitutional amendments on the ballot in Minnesota this fall. One is a measure to ban same sex marriage, and another would pass one of the most restrictive Voter ID requirements in the country.
The group has created two political funds to help defeat the amendments, and as government and public affairs director Timothy Stanley told Minnesota Public Radio, the group is getting involved because both issues matter to the people Planned Parenthood serves. “We work in coalitions with all these groups every day, from doing combined outreach to vulnerable communities that need health care, to working in political coalitions with groups that are fighting for LGBT rights right along side our fight for women’s health care.”
Instead of raising money for Minnesotans United for All Families, the main group working to defeat the marriage amendment, and Our Vote Our Future, the main organization working to defeat the voter ID amendment, Planned Parenthood plans to use its own staff and resources to campaign specifically on those two amendments. Planned Parenthood will be phoning, mailing and using social media to “make sure that people who support Planned Parenthood know that we are standing alongside the communities that are affected by these two amendments and we are calling on our supporters to vote no on these amendments.”
This type of coalition building comes after a historic joining of forces this summer by the NAACP and LGBT groups. The NAACP put its support behind the battle for marriage equality while LGBT groups came out in force over Fathers Day to protest NYPD stop-and-frisk policies in New York alongside the NAACP.
Given the nature of the right’s attacks on civil rights across the board, this kind of coalition building will not just be helpful, it is necessary. And with any luck, it will successfully stem the tide of these attacks and put them to bed once and for all.
Photo from fibonacciblue via flickr.