Republican Rep. John Kriesel gave the following speech in front of the Minnesota House of Representatives before a vote was cast 70-62 in favor of placing a question on the 2012 Minnesota general election ballot to constitutionally define marriage as being between a man and a woman. (Minnesota being a state where gay marriage is already illegal.) In it he explains what made him change his mind on the issue of gay marriage, and pleads with the other members of the House to do the same.

But if you forget for a few minutes about the result of the vote, and the fact that we live in a time where civil rights are something to be debated, it’s comforting to watch it and feel like it is just incredibly easy to be reasonable, rational, and compassionate. And that in a time where almost everything is shades of grey, it’s nice to be in a situation where there is so obviously a right and a wrong. That is a very hopeful feeling!

And then you remember the other stuff and maybe have to excuse yourself for a moment. (Via)

Comments (62)
  1. hurray this makes me proud to be minnesotan in the wake of bachman and pawlenty being complete idiots!

    • Agreed. I was prepared to trot out my usual Minnesotan apologies (and offers of lutefisk), but hey! I did not need them this time! Holy crap!

      • The sad thing is that most of the people who voted for it, did it to keep in line with party politics. I’ve spent some time in Minnesota and i can tell that you peeps are nicer than Grandma Moses. It’s really ridiculous that government is wasting its time trying to restrict human rights. Now a bill preventing the marriage between fish and lye, that would be progress.

        • Minnesota pride! Despite being away at college, i can confirm that everyone there is really nice! And they drive better, and they don’t look at you like a weirdo for jumping over a railing or walking into a bar and waiting for a waitress to address them. Columbia Missouri i love you but you think the most inconsequential shit is weird!

    • Yes. This helps me hope that come 2012 we will be the first state to vote down one of these terrible amendments.

  2. Now my lunch is all wet, from the weeping. Bravo to him for speaking up for what’s right.

  3. I both like this video, and dislike the fact that we all have to go “yay! good video!” That should not have to be a thing at this point.

  4. Wow, that really WAS good speech about marriage equality. I hope that more Minnesotans are moved by this and vote appropriately when the time comes.

    Give to the HRC to stop craziness like that from going through! http://www.hrc.org/

  5. Whats upsetting is that this will be on the ballot NEXT November, which means another year and a half of old white dudes pumping money into Minnesota to end gay marriage.

    • Why they gotta be white?

    • Hey now, let’s not fight anti-gayness with anti-whiteness — that would be weird. And from a Facts perspective, a lot of times it is black churches and Mormons and occasionally Latino Catholics against the gay marriage, and that’s not simply because those people are white (especially in the case of the blacks and Latinos).

      • You’re saying that non-white people can’t be white? You can’t hold them back with your prejudice, sir or ma’am!

      • While this is true, they aren’t a big face of this. They don’t seem to have the high profile political capital that the aforementioned Carl Rove and, say, Sarah Palin do. Most of these organizations that will pump money into this issue – CPAC, American Crossroads, American Action Network, etc. – are all white dudes. Forgive my unequal opportunity bashing. :-P

        • Uh, well, they were pretty high-profile during all the Prop 8 — oh Christ, I don’t want to go all politicsgum here. You must be right: the white race are devils. Except the gay whites. Good argument. Very solid, very fair.

          • But the Mormons were the real reason Prop 8 happened — the money, the ads, the fear-mongering. The other churches just sort of went with it or stayed silent and complacent and voted yes. (Or that was what I gathered when I was covering it for the news.) And as a whole, Mormons are whiter than most of Minnesota.

          • Oh I don’t think that DSN is trying to say that old white guys are the only ones who are opposed to gay marriage or give money to anti-gay-marriage organizations, just that their visibility is higher (not least in part because those are the majority of people Fox News brings on the air, as well as the majority of our elected officials who are speaking up and saying hateful things in public). Sure, there are women and minorities who are just as wrong on this, and just as monetarily responsible, but if someone were to say to me “imagine an anti-gay person,” then the first image to pop in my head would be someone very close to Karl Rove.

          • Whoa whoa, that wasn’t my argument at all, I don’t know where you read that. If I implied that, my bad. All I meant was that some rich white dudes were going to give money to try to preemptively shut down gay marriage in Minnesota. I don’t doubt for a second that there are other races that are equally as assholes (am I really arguing this?). But – maybe its the news I watch, maybe its because I grew up in whitebread USA, who knows – my head was thinking Karl Rove so I typed “white guys.”

          • Yeah, I never thought anyone here seriously thinks white people are evil. I probably just get kind of touchy sometimes, maybe too touchy, when I hear the white race badmouthed in any way, even obliquely — even in jest! — because I think we can all agree that it’s pretty much the best race. (Except for its Mormon contingent — Ew!) I REST MY CASE.

            (wait, what are we talking about again?)

          • I’d like to point out that I was TOTALLY kidding.

        • If Sarah Palin is an old white man, I would like to point out that he’s married to a dude.

  6. It’s nice to see true honesty and bravery in politics. Sadly it’s very rare these days.

  7. So we’re even with the whole Neil Gaiman thing and this right?

  8. And can we talk about how we’re in an age of people wanting CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS to end gay marriage, and that seems like an appropriate response to some people? Not like, “Yeah lets stop them from doing that.” More like, “I want this written down on the highest ranking legal document in our state so whenever one of those fags tries to do this again, we can point to it in black and white and say ‘I’m right, you’re wrong.’”

    I would also point to this video as another good one.
    http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2011/05/-how-many-more-gay-people-does-god-have-to-create-before-we-ask-ourselves-whether-or-not-god-actuall.html

  9. True story: I watched an episode from the first season of Cheers last night that discussed gay rights. It was actually pretty well done. But the thing that was the most impressive and also the saddest was that this episode is over 20 years old now. This really shouldn’t still be a thing that people are opposed to. To which people are opposed (after we get gay rights, we’re gonna work on the right of a preposition to end a sentence.) Basically, the moral of the story is, people should watch more Cheers.

  10. You know, this is what makes me proud sometimes to be involved in politics and the fight for marriage equality. My friend Jason West was the second mayor in the country to marry same-sex couples, back in 2004 – and I remember thinking we were at the beginning of a wave that would finally expand full rights to same-sex couples. I’m proud to have helped build a political party – the Greens – that make marriage equality a core principle. When my brother came out in 2009 I was happy for him… but it made me realize even more that we still have so much work to do before he has the same rights as I do. I applaud this Minnesota legislator for having the courage to say things his own party doesn’t agree with. In 100 years no one will remember any of them, while he will be remembered as someone who took a stand on the right side of history. I hope more can and will join us in the coming days and years.

    • Umm, you mean the right side of HERstory? Sexist!

      • I know you were joking (and it did make me laugh) but I’d just like to say that the interpretation of the word “history” as being equatable to “his-story” is a complete misnomer- and the etymology of the word comes from the ungendered greek root for knowledge, and the form “histoire” from French. Although obviously the word now in English can make an interesting, and apt, pun; it is nothing more than this. There is nothing in the actual word itself which implies a patriarchal pedagogy. We should feel perfectly entitled to its continued usage.

        Sorry, like I said, I know you were joking, I’m not directing this at you- just this is particularly irksome to me as this aphorism was often the mantra of pert little students of feminism who would constantly repeat it in my direction with a satisfied grin.

        • Those pert, smug little bitches!

        • I’m pretty sure all the pert little feminists I knew in college didn’t believe the etymology of ‘history’ was actually ‘the male story’. Most of them knew more about etymology and actual history than the average person who rolled their eyes whenever they used ‘herstory’ to empower their awakening or whatever. It’s odd that this is a point of contention for anyone.

  11. If I had a “Hell No” button, I’d press it all the time.

  12. Oh look, my contact lens just ripped and my eyes are all watery….oh, you didn’t know people could wear contacts at the same time as glasses? yeah, it’s no big deal, it’s just this thing people do all the time…

  13. i have a facebook friend who lives in minnesota who already created an event “i’m voting yes on nov 6th 2012″

    he’s not my facebook friend anymore.

  14. No one should get married to anyone ever or everyone should just be married to everyone else. Those are the two choices. Let’s end this TODAY.

  15. So great to see a Republican war veteran take this stance publicly… I hope he inspires more people to reconsider and decide what they think is right rather than what their party says is right.

  16. Guy in the back is all, “I’m just going to arch one eyebrow through this whole thing.”

  17. Any PA monsters here? My boss has introduced a marriage equality bill each session for as long as I can remember, and of course it never goes anywhere. The only way these bills move is by calling your representatives/senators and appealing to them. It’s easy! And most of the people who answer the phones (like me!) are nice!!!

  18. this was great, and while it’s sad that this is still an issue, seeing this quote yesterday made me kind of happy (via the internet)

    “We’re losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don’t know if that’s going to change with a little more age — demographers would say probably not. We’ve probably lost that. I don’t want to be extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.” —Jim Daly, president of the far-right social issues group Focus on the Family, on marriage equality.

  19. This is a nice video. Can’t we just eliminate marriage for everyone and call it even?

    /not a troll
    //just not a fan of marriage

  20. Do you know what marriage in the eyes of the law technically is? Two people uniting under law for tax purposes. If there is separation of church and state (which technically there is but realistically there TOTALLY ISN’T CASE IN POINT), why does it matter if two consenting people regardless of gender want to save some taxes?

  21. Don’t worry, everyone! Soon we’ll all be able to marry anyone with Apple’s new iVow.

  22. Why does Minnesota get Republicans like this and New York State has none? Ours are all like, “well, I consulted with the Pope, and he said no, so them’s the breaks. Don’t worry, it’ll happen soon, no thanks to us!”

    (That is a loose paraphrase of what Marty Golden’s person told me last time I called him.)

  23. That is indeed a great speech about marriage equality

  24. That was great. But give it two more years before deciding anything, Minnesotans!

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/will-iowans-uphold-gay-marriage.html

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