‘The GOP made a grave, grave mistake’
The Reaction to the passage of a Republican anti–gay marriage amendment in the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday has been both local and global and was swift. “They have made a grave, grave mistake, and I think they will see that soon,” Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, the only member of the LGBT community in the Senate.
The bill’s author, Maple Grove Republican Warren Limmer, dodged questions by Dibble and reporters about whether he thinks same-sex marriage is immoral and whether the measure was really about morality. Though he didn’t answer, Limmer has made his opposition to homosexuality very clear in his 20 years in office.
Dibble chastised Republicans who seemed shy to speak on the Senate floor in support of the amendment. During three hours of debate, only Limmer and Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, spoke in favour of the amendment.
“I think they are ashamed of themselves. I think they know they are wrong,” Dibble told reporters after the vote. “I think the order from their operatives and party handlers was, ‘Be quiet, because what we are doing is not where Minnesotans are at.’ They are responding to the pressure of a very vocal minority.”
One reporter mentioned Dibble’s charge that GOP members are ashamed of their position and asked, “Do you believe gay marriage is morally wrong?”
Sen. Warren Limmer
Limmer refused to answer. “It’s up to the public to make a direction and advice to the Legislature and state government.
He added, “I’m sorry that Sen. Dibble thinks that way.”
Reporters weren’t content with that answer. “Is there, for you, a personal moral consideration in carrying this bill?”
Again Limmer dodged. “The purpose of this is for the public to decide. I’ve been around this issue, studied it. I’ve carried it for years.”
He said it was important for the people, not judges, to make decisions on who can marry.
But despite Limmer’s shyness about discussing his personal motivations for authoring the anti–gay marriage amendment, in years past he’s been a vociferous opponent of LGBT rights. In 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court stuck down sodomy laws, which were historically used to jail gays and lesbians even for simply gathering in bars, Limmer was outraged.
“I think the decision reflects a continued downward spiral away from traditional values that have created a strong foundation for families,” he told local media
“It’s an outrage that such laws can be introduce in such an easy way” Said gay rights campaigner Jason Shaw. “It’s actions like that that make America a laughing stock all over the world”
“America claims to be the land of the free - but that’s only if you are a white middle class straight republican”
More on the story Minnesota Independent: News. Politics. Media.