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MN Senator Tom Bakk Gives Powerful, Moving Testimony About Gay Priest Who Married Him: VIDEO

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Minnesota Majority Leader Tom Bakk wrapped up today's Senate testimony on marriage equality with a story about a longtime family friend who is gay. Bakk grew up at a boy's Bible camp where his dad was the camp director. In 1962 his dad recruited a college student to be a camp counselor who later went on to the seminary to become a Lutheran pastor.

Bakk recounted a conversation about the pastor, named Ray, that he had with his mother over this past weekend. She told him, "Ray was the best friend our family has ever had."

Bakk then listed off a number of difficult and intimate moments at which Ray had offered his support for his family when they were ill, or grieving, and sacrifices he had made for them.

Said Bakk:

"Ray knows a lot about marriage. Married a lot of couples. Counseled a lot of couples through the highs that marriages have and some of the deep disappointments that sometimes happen in marriage relationships. He felt the excitement and could see the excitement in a couple's eyes as he married them. He felt the excitement in mine. Because in 1976 he married me. A few years later he came out as being gay and his employer in the church didn't treat him very well, and he had a very difficult ministerial career after that. Today he is retired and lives in Minneapolis. But something has always bothered me. That over the decades of his friendship with our family he participated in and shared in the joy of so many marriages but could never have one of his own."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. We need more allies like Senator Bakk. That was wonderful.

    Posted by: scooternva | May 13, 2013 7:37:47 PM


  2. Extremely moving and compelling. I wish all the very best for Ray.

    Posted by: Geoff | May 13, 2013 7:43:58 PM


  3. I want the video of Senator Latz. It was so moving and just plain spoken. He didn't sugarcoat it and blew holes in the same tired old arguments the opposition makes.

    Posted by: Derrick | May 13, 2013 7:44:19 PM


  4. Fighting Michelle Bachman's hysterical over-the-top prayer rant and tweet, with a dignified, pithy story of how religion hurts even the religious.

    I had (that is "in the past") a Norwegian-American friend from Minnesota, who was all kinds of progressive until it came to gays. At the time she didn't think of me as gay, but I brought up how the bible doesn't (at least the New Testament, which Christianity is based on) speak to the condemnation of gays. She literally had a fit and turned into Michelle Bachman. I couldn't believe how her "The whole world is interesting because of all the different people that make it up" attitude could change because of Lutheranism. So, that's "had" a friend from Minnesota.

    Posted by: woodroad34d | May 13, 2013 8:14:02 PM


  5. i'm with derrick. latz impressed me by blowing holes in some of the most specious arguments, and while veiled, there was just an edge of the unspoken "you idiot" peeking out from underneath the smooth delivery. he reminds me of gavin newsom.

    Posted by: bandanajack | May 13, 2013 8:16:46 PM


  6. i'm with derrick. latz impressed me by blowing holes in some of the most specious arguments, and while veiled, there was just an edge of the unspoken "you idiot" peeking out from underneath the smooth delivery. he reminds me of gavin newsom.

    Posted by: bandanajack | May 13, 2013 8:16:46 PM


  7. Well, the headline is wrong. It wasn't a priest, but rather a Lutheran pastor.

    Posted by: Chuck | May 13, 2013 8:50:17 PM


  8. This was an amazing speech!

    Posted by: Gigi | May 13, 2013 9:22:29 PM


  9. There were quite a few speech finds today, some that made you tear up, and some (like greenfuzz says) that made you think your head would explode.

    The repeated attempts at subterfuge on 'religious objections' for doing business with LGBT was well handled. That's discrimination under their human rights laws and has nothing to do with marriage.

    Did Latz say his law firm specializes in civil rights issues?

    Posted by: JONES | May 13, 2013 9:50:41 PM


  10. A link to Daily Motion for those who want to see Sen. Latz speak--

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzuj0i_god-made-gays-sen-ron-latz_news#.UZGql-DenTQ

    Posted by: Akrontru | May 13, 2013 11:13:25 PM


  11. Thanks for the link Akrontru

    Biblical marriage
    Abraham had more than one wife. So did Isiah.
    Solomon had a thousand wives.

    Won't affect my marriage even one little bit.

    Separation of church and state.

    Religiosity! Yeah, he went there!

    Latz. Love him

    Posted by: JONES | May 13, 2013 11:30:35 PM


  12. This speech is the epitome of good-hearted Midwestern values. Mr. Bakk, thank you. Your legacy just got brighter today.

    Posted by: Marc | May 14, 2013 4:02:55 AM


  13. The man he is talking about is Lutheran, the ordained are called pastors not priests in the Lutheran Church.

    Posted by: Gus | May 14, 2013 6:16:51 AM


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