in Minnesota. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts launched programs for gay students, and the Minnesota Department of Education issued a pamphlet for educators on gay and lesbian issues called “Alone No More” (Rossman 1997). The Minneapolis School Board agreed to offer domestic partner benefits to public school employees and began advertising for employees in the local gay press (Rossman 1997). As with other successes, these initiatives led to push-back from social conservatives and religious right organizations, including efforts to elect religious conservatives to school board seats (Rossman 1997). Throughout the 1990s, the LGBT movement expanded in Minnesota, and the mainstream community increasingly accepted LGBT people. As one example of this trend, in the early and mid-1990s corporations began sponsoring the Twin Cities Pride Festival at the request of organizers (Van Cleve 2012). This change sparked controversy among some LGBT activists, with one activist noting that the change in the Pride festival to a “corporate theme park” highlights the change in the LGBT movement to a more conservative, less political movement (Hicks 2004, under section 4, quoting Bob Halfhill). In the Twin Cities in the mid-1990s, gay activists were sometimes at odds with each other about whether to push for mainstream equality and assimilation into the larger community, or to continue connections with more countercultural aspects of the idealistic left LGBT organizations developed during this period to address pressing issues in the community. For example, to address the ongoing violence against LGBT people in downtown Minneapolis, the Queer Street Patrol modified strategies used in other cities and mobilized trained antiviolence volunteers to patrol the downtown bar scene in Minneapolis (Van Cleve 2012). The Minnesota Lavender Bar Association formed as an outgrowth of the Gay Lesbian Community Action Council in 1996, and later became a separate organization (Hanson 2009). The late 1990s also saw the continuation of the development of the LGBT social movement in Minnesota, with the 10th anniversary Two Spirit Gathering of Native Americans (hosted in Onamia, Minnesota), the growth of Black LGBT organizations and pride celebrations, expansion of bisexual organizations, and the continued success of Gays and Lesbian Elders Active in Minnesota (Van Cleve 2012). In another setback for gay rights, in 1996, the federal government passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This law spurred a significant amount of state-level legislation to prevent same-sex marriage. Only four states had such laws prior to DOMA; within a few years, the majority of states had passed laws to define marriage as between a man and a woman (Damore, Jelen, and Bowers 2007). Minnesota passed a version of DOMA in 1997, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman and which prohibited marriage between people
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