Gay Marriage | Minnesota

Watch: Emotional Speech, Aftermath Of House Vote In Minnesota

Kriesel
There were many emotional speeches from various members of the Minnesotan House of Representatives during last night's debate on the state's same-sex marriage amendment.

John Kriesel, a Republican and Iraqi war vet who lost the use of both of his legs, gave one of the night's most moving speeches against voting for the measure. Said Kriesel amid chants of protesters in the rotunda of the Capitol outside of the chamber: "This amendment doesn't represent what I went to fight for. This doesn't represent that. Hear that out there? That's the America I fought for, and I'm proud of that."

As you know, members of the House subsequently voted on the issue and it will now go to voters in 2012. Kriesel was only one of four republicans to vote against the measure.

Watch him address his colleagues and also watch the aftermath of the vote from inside the Capitol, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. A lot can happen in the next 18 months before the vote.

    Posted by: qjersey | May 22, 2011 2:26:53 PM


  2. That was an incredibly moving speech.

    Posted by: Daniel | May 22, 2011 3:04:25 PM


  3. Yes, this is a much better situation than Prop 8. The hetero-supremacist movement already had a campaign apparatus ready from Prop 22 back in 2000. We were completely caught flat-footed, a mere 6 months to get ready for a referendum.

    This time we have a year and a half, a populace that is split in our favor, and special rules that require a ballot question to get 50%+1 of all ballots cast, rather than merely more YES than NO. This can become our first major defeat of an anti-gay marriage ballot question. And we need to have at least one high profile victory before we go to SCOTUS. It would help immensely.

    Posted by: Jeremy | May 22, 2011 3:05:01 PM


  4. The same optimistic things were said in Maine, and it turned out to be the same old story. Once the propaganda hate machine gets going, people will get scared and vote yes.

    Posted by: meercat | May 22, 2011 3:14:27 PM


  5. the man served in the armed forces gave a great deal for his country and states what he fought for people's rights. most of the repuks have no idea what this country is about.

    Posted by: walter | May 22, 2011 3:15:34 PM


  6. Meercat: We will win at some point. If we start thinking like that then it will be sel-fulfilling-- we will always lose.

    The polling trendlines are heading in our favor, it is time we try cashing in those trendlines.

    Posted by: Jeremy | May 22, 2011 3:25:09 PM


  7. MAGNIFICENT and the legacy of late gay Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt—whose parents have campaigned for marriage equality—keeps giving. Many aren't aware that Minnesota elected the first out gay man to a major office, Allan Spear, reelected to the State Senate in 1976, a year before Harvey Milk became a San Francisco Supervisor. Spear served many years before his death, including 10 years as Speaker of the Senate. Current out gay State Senator Scott Dibble and out lesbian State Legislator Karen Clark also appear in the video.

    With respect, in regard to one of her comments, and one above, we will NOT win if we count on "love" alone...as organizers foolishly did in California and Maine. We MUST name the other side as the hate-filled bigots they are, THEN ask voters to choose which they want to be identified with.

    Posted by: Michael@LeonardMatlovich.com | May 22, 2011 3:50:00 PM


  8. Jeremy, I agree that the historical trajectory is on our side, despite setbacks like this one, but I don't see this as a much better situation than Prop 8.

    In the case of CA, Prop 8 took away the right to marry. But CA couples still have some protections. (Not that that makes Prop 8 less heinous.) This MN legislation is a particular travesty since no right to marry exists in that state. The Republican majority is basically hoping to heap extra gratuitous anti-gayness onto preexisting anti-gay laws. Even if we "win" this one at the ballot box, couples in MN will emerge with nothing concrete. It would be an important symbolic victory, but it's disgusting that this battle has to be fought at all in MN.

    The good thing to come of this is brave, eloquent speeches like this one by John Kriesel. Here's a Republican going against his party's status quo to speak his conscience, political pressure be damned. Bravo to him. Having unexpected allies like this is a positive step forward in a sea of disgusting Republican politicking.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 22, 2011 4:05:32 PM


  9. One day hopefully everyone will truly be Equal... Who knows if it is going to be 5 years or 50 but I know it will happen, why can't it just happen sooner. Our offspring or friends offspring will look back at all these ignorant politicians and just pull there hair saying wow!
    www.reeserideout.com

    Posted by: Reese Rideout | May 22, 2011 4:35:01 PM


  10. One thing to keep in mind here is that the Minnesota constitutional amendment is NOT about legalizing same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Minnesota and this amendment — regardless of its outcome — won't change that.

    If it passes, the constitution will be amended to outlaw same-sex marriage — essentially reinforcing legislation that currently does the same thing.

    If it fails, the constitution won't be amended, but same-sex marriage will still be illegal.

    This is an important distinction to keep in mind, as the local Fox TV station is already twisting the details to cast this as a question of "legalizing gay marriage" to get voters to think that by voting "no," they'll voting for the creation of gay marriage.

    But, remember that is NOT the case here. Voting "no" on this issue will NOT legalize same-sex marriage. Voting "no" is NOT a vote to institute marriage equality, no matter how much the Rebubs will try to claim that it will.

    Posted by: Eaves | May 22, 2011 5:13:34 PM


  11. John Kreisel was quite moving.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 22, 2011 5:24:16 PM


  12. Eaves you are flat wrong. This amendment DOES do something heinous. It singles out gay and lesbian people, and denies them fundamental Due Process rights. Now in MN, we as a minority have the ability to address marriage and family issues through the normal legislative process, or the judicial process. If this amendment is passed, we will LOSE these rights in MN, and as a class be forbidden to address our needs for our families with our own state government. It is a strident attack on LGBs' basic constitutional rights, and does nothing to advance any legit state interest, except to promote heterosexual supremacy.

    I hope that a legal group will challenge this ballot question in Federal court, and seek an injunction to prevent it from appearing on the ballot. Our enemies have used every legal maneuver possible to gum up the wheels of justice, in Perry and Gill. We need to adopt those same tactics, to frustrate them. And hopefully, since the 8th Circuit has pretty much decided LGBs are an inferior class already, we can fast track to SCOTUS.

    Posted by: Jeremy | May 22, 2011 6:33:48 PM


  13. Reese? Cool dude, love your work!

    Man, this whole thing is heartbreaking...here we go again (writing from Ohio), and the bastards ALWAYS turn us into a wedge issue for a presidential election. I sincerely hope it turns out differently than it did here. Let's hope the Repukes have the party of voter apathy this time!

    Posted by: Jim | May 22, 2011 6:34:12 PM


  14. @Jeremy: I don't think Eaves was making a case that the amendment wasn't heinous; everything he said sounded correct to me. He was talking about what the amendment would and wouldn't do. If the amendment is defeated, it won't mean gay couples can get married, though the Republicans (and all the outside bigots, like NOM) will undoubtedly use fear-mongering tactics to attempt convince voters that this is the case. (As if gay couples getting married is the end of civilization as we know it.) Unlike CA, MN has no marriage rights to take away, so defeating this amendment will take MN gay couples merely back to ground zero. That's the worst thing about these amendments that put discrimination into the Constitution ahead of any rights--victory brings no practical gains unless a Court ruling voids all such amendments as unconstitutional.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 22, 2011 8:11:04 PM


  15. Minna rocks!

    Posted by: kodiak | May 22, 2011 9:15:19 PM


  16. Ernie, that is correct. Thanks for helping to clarify. :-)

    Posted by: Eaves | May 22, 2011 10:53:46 PM


  17. I'm always amazed at the variety of bs explanations given for legislative acts like this (such as, for example, the republicans are playing politics with this issue, trying to boost voter turnout from their evangelical base). Explanations such as these are either completely incorrect or at best tangential reasons for what's happening. This has very little to do with any politics. The republicans voting for anti-gay acts are simply voting their hearts. They hate gays. Having the balls to face this truth is the first step in the fight to defeat them.

    Posted by: Mark | May 23, 2011 3:38:12 AM


  18. In 2009 Washington state voters approved comprehensive domestic partnerships. That was the first major victory on the popular level. Minnesota can and will crush this monstrous measure next year.

    Posted by: Skye Winspur | May 23, 2011 12:20:05 PM


  19. It really sucks that voting NO means voting in FAVOR of gay marriage. Who decided to word it that way? I remember all of the confusion that caused during prop 8, i wish it could be changed here.

    Posted by: Clayton | May 24, 2011 8:09:50 PM


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