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Watch: Straight Republican Testifies Against Minnesota Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Koch

On Friday I reported that the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee had voted 8-4 along party lines to advance a bill that would place a voter initiative to ban same-sex marriage in the state on next year's ballot.

Jeremy Hooper at Good As You makes note of at least one ray of light during that day, Madeline Koch, a young straight Republican who portends the future.

Watch (the clip's title is wrong), AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Her testimony was a ray of sunshine. She was well spoken and recieved a huge roar of approval from the listeners inside the overflow hall, which could be heard from where I was seated (halfway across the Capitol building) in the committee room.

    Posted by: JDB | May 2, 2011 1:43:18 PM


  2. Absolutely fantastic!

    Posted by: David | May 2, 2011 1:48:06 PM


  3. Well said, Honey. This bigotry needs to end, and it will paint a very unflattering look back at the GOP and its role in American History.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 2, 2011 1:52:18 PM


  4. I applaud her for her common sense and basic decency as well as her courage in speaking up, but: if you're not stupid and you're not evil, why be a Republican?

    Posted by: ohplease | May 2, 2011 1:53:53 PM


  5. She's adorbz! with that accent. Here's hoping that the true majority of Republicans of her (my) generation are of a similar mindset.

    Posted by: Phil | May 2, 2011 1:57:05 PM


  6. Good for her. But the GOP is on a very narrow ledge. The country is far ahead of them on these issues

    Posted by: chris | May 2, 2011 2:15:02 PM


  7. Well said.

    Posted by: bill o | May 2, 2011 2:19:54 PM


  8. Oh Please,

    So many of these young republicans are that because of their parents STRONG influence BUT they are also living in the 21st century-listen to hip hop and watch Glee.

    They want to balance to the two.

    Also, I've noticed alot of the American young intellectual republicans seem to be more deciples of Ayn Rand, then of social conservatism...?

    Just from my observations from this blog...

    It's the elder generation who are messed up..

    Posted by: Rowan | May 2, 2011 2:19:59 PM


  9. Wow - an articulate, thinking Republican. Is she the only one? Hope not.

    Posted by: Steve | May 2, 2011 2:25:05 PM


  10. Thing is though, the GOP's historically-bigoted anti-gay stance is not even the BIGGEST issue I have with them.

    Kudos to this young lady for speaking out for Equality, but come ON, already.

    Universal Healthcare. COME ON. A culture of greed and selfishness and "why should i care about you?"-style thinking is what the GOP hinges on, and this is why its anti Healthcare, and anti-Equality.

    Some people want to be more Equal than others, in more ways than one.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 2, 2011 2:36:05 PM


  11. I honestly think equality is inevitable at this point. Call that wishful thinking, but people like her are going to lead the charge. Well said! And I loved that you could hear the cheering there at the end.

    Posted by: AJ | May 2, 2011 2:41:20 PM


  12. Amazing how you all trip all over yourselves to praise one single straight woman (an obscure state legislator, at that) who is a Republican for speaking out in favor of marriage equality, at the same time that gay men who are Republicans and doing the same thing get nothing but contempt.....and also at the same time that much more prominent straight men who are Republicans speaking out in favor of marriage equality and actually doing something substantial about it (Ted Olson, for example) barely ever get praised at all......

    Why the apparent double standard?

    Posted by: Rick | May 2, 2011 2:46:12 PM


  13. Oh, Rick and your ever-present misogyny.

    Which gay Republicans are you talking about, specifically?

    Certainly not the Uncle Toms that make up GOProud, the self-hating homosexuals and racists of GayPatriot.net, and others who adopt the "hey, we're gay and republican, but we're not like those HORRIBLE GAY LIBERALS" style of ass-kissery.

    And if you think Ted Olson hasn't been praised for what he's done, you're insane.

    We get it. You're a misogynist. It's nothing to be proud of.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 2, 2011 3:08:40 PM


  14. @Kiwi The Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota issued a statement Friday condemning this bill as anti-family and anti-liberty, but I have seen no mention of that on any gay website such as this one and, of course, if you wanted to find it, you could Google it and do so......Of course, the individual who issued the statement is gay and male and Republican, so, in your world view, he is an "ass-kisser" and deserves to be hated and disrespected, whereas the woman in this video who is also a Republican--but a straight female rather than a gay or straight male-- is, by sharp contrast (in your world view) a courageous, "strong woman" who deserves adulation and worship for doing the same thing that the "ass-kissing" gay male Republican did.....

    You see the only real difference between the two is that one is a gay man and the other is a straight woman....and that fact alone accounts for the difference in your opinion of them (and that of others)......Right? Right.

    Posted by: Rick | May 2, 2011 3:46:16 PM


  15. Also of note: I'm gay, but she's really hot! Equality is sexy.

    Posted by: JJ | May 2, 2011 5:52:52 PM


  16. @Rick,

    I'm sorry did women as a whole do you wrong in some way that our contributions to equal rights should be discarded?

    Honestly, there are times when the misogyny is so thick that I question why I spent time walking around polling people, or speaking with community and religious leaders, or even using my vote to "speak" for me.

    To some degree I agree with you--everyone should speak out for what they know is right, therefore no one should be praised for doing the right thing. The right thing should be expected of people.

    Posted by: Rin | May 2, 2011 6:04:09 PM


  17. Rick, perhaps the issue has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman and everything to do with the fact that she's /straight/. It's rare for a straight Republican, it seems, to testify in favour of marriage equality. /That/ is the issue.

    Posted by: Yuki | May 2, 2011 6:15:27 PM


  18. "The Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota issued a statement Friday condemning this bill as anti-family and anti-liberty, but I have seen no mention of that on any gay website . . . "

    Um, Rick, it is the JOB DESCRIPTION of the LCR's to speak out against anti-gay legislation. That is their role. If they can't do that, they have no reason to exist. (They should also be speaking out against all Republicans who support a ban on marriage equality.) Many gay people of all political stripes are doing grassroots lobbying around the country. It is not particularly newsworthy. We lobbied for marriage equality in my state for 15 years but hardly expected to land in the news for it every day.

    It IS news when a straight Republican speaks out for equality, because it does not represent the opinion of the overwhelming majority of elected Republicans in the US. The rare straight Republican--male or female; Ted Olson has received plenty of deserved credit--who does speak out for gay rights is to be commended. If only the Republican party as a whole weren't so uniformly anti-gay. (Looking at voting records; the proof is in the legislative pudding.) The good thing is the younger generation--including young Republicans--is in favor of equality, and that is newsworthy.

    BTW, many of our strongest allies are straight females. Statistically, they have been much more supportive than straight men, and certainly in my personal experience straight women (and some straight men, also) worked tirelessly for marriage equality in my state. To suggest that straight women are more homophobic than men only reveals your own misogyny. It's simply false.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 2, 2011 6:36:30 PM


  19. @RIN No, Rin, that is not the point. My response to Kiwi was in part based on a previous discussion about why all the "icons" of gay men are straight women, when every other group in the population, including lesbians, "iconizes" their own kind. I don't think many lesbians fully understand gay male culture any more than many gay men fully understand lesbian culture and I think that may be the problem with your reading of my post in this instance.

    The gist of it is that gay men have been emasculated by society for their sexual orientation and some of them have responded to that emasculation by internalizing society's verdict on them, adopting a feminine identity as opposed to a male identity.....which is why their icons are all straight women rather than gay men or men in general....and I was just calling attention to that self-destructive phenomenon in this case by contrasting the way they view a Republican straight woman and Republican gay men (or straight men) who take exactly the same stand.

    Gay men who live vicariously through straight women are basically engaging in an excersize in self-hatred, IMO, the same self-hatred that prevents so many of them from having successful relationships with other men.

    If you are a lesbian, don't take it the wrong way--it really has nothing to do with you or with women in general--it has to do with gay men and their identity and their self-esteem.

    Posted by: Rick | May 2, 2011 6:42:20 PM


  20. Any self-respecting gay Republican should stand up for his own rights. It is not newsworthy. The rare straight Republicans--male and female--who support gay rights get deserved attention. A straight male Republican who made this same speech would also appear on Towleroad. Applauding straight female allies has absolutely zilch to do with being emasculated by society. Quite the contrary. Worry about your own self-esteem, Rick.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 2, 2011 7:43:35 PM


  21. P.S.

    "Minnesota's Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 10-7 along party lines to advance a bill that would place a voter initiative to ban same-sex marriage in the state on next year's ballot."

    Apparently the LCR's lobbying efforts were a failure, and the majority straight male Republican panel, unlike the straight woman in the video, was not interested in supporting gay rights. What a surprise!

    Posted by: Ernie | May 2, 2011 8:11:09 PM


  22. @Rick,

    perhaps these female "gay icons" are just called that to have a name for a celebrity that you are not attracted to but have a great affinity for? Should they be called: celebrity women with whom I admire and have an affinity for? That's too long, yes?

    Gay men do have male equivalents that have much greater respect shown to them than these female gay icons who, let's be honest, have a lot of "laughing at" as opposed to "laughing with".

    Harvey Milk, Rimbaud, Oscar Wild, James Baldwin, etc. are gay men who are put on a pedestal. There are also straight men who are idolized for looks or talent--again, none of these are tongue and cheek in the same way that say a Liza or Judy received adoration.

    Are you telling me that gay men gave Liza Minelli the same respect as say a Harvey Milk--or even buff hottie Kellan Lutz?

    This "femme" thing...maybe you were born without a predilection or affinity for what is classified as feminine things, but that doesn't mean that it is socialized in others, or that it is a product of looking favorably on women.

    The human brain's wiring has a lot to do with that. We're all part nurture and nature. How the brain thinks, its initial impulse ... this is what we cannot change, how we allow it to manifest is. If we are disciplined we can guise our initial reaction.

    But to say that initial reaction is wrong because it is similar to that of a girl's seems...even wronger.

    I have supported gay rights since I was introduced to what gay was in middle school. I've gotten physically pushed protecting my gay friends, I've been politically active...I could be selfish and say that it doesn't affect me and not bother, but that would be wrong.

    Gay rights are human rights, I believe. If my voice as a human weighs less to you in the struggle for equality because I am female then what I've been fighting for this whole time is meaningless and not real.

    It's separatist and separate is not equal.

    Posted by: Rin | May 3, 2011 7:26:04 AM


  23. Wow, RIN! "everyone should speak out for what they know is right, therefore no one should be praised for doing the right thing. The right thing should be expected of people." I seriously never thought of it that way. Very, very true.

    Posted by: AJ | May 3, 2011 8:37:59 AM


  24. The Bible is very clear that those that practice homosexual behavior, fornication, adultery, will be condemned to hell. Our society has become more about I want to do it my way and what makes me happy and my rights.

    Repent now or forever be separated from God after you die.

    Posted by: matt | May 4, 2011 9:35:13 PM


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