ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Next year’s vote to put a gay marriage ban in the Minnesota constitution is testing political friendships among Republicans, some of whom have formed a group to oppose the gay marriage amendment.

“I’m a Republican because I believe in liberty and freedom,” said State Representative John Kriesel, a freshman legislator from suburban Cottage Grove. “And I think this is an attack on that.”

The Minnesota Republican party doesn’t only officially oppose gay marriage; it’s also against civil unions and publicly-funded domestic partnership benefits.

The official Republican Party Platform states:

“We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that the U.S. Constitution and the
Minnesota constitution should be amended to this effect. We oppose civil unions or their legal
equivalents between same-sex couples and therefore, domestic partner benefits should not be public.”

However, longtime Republicans like Wheelock Whitney, the party’s 1982 endorsed candidate for governor, say the party is losing its focus on what’s really important: a strong defense, limited government and responsible budgets.

“There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, in the Republican value system that supports marriage bans in our constitution,” said Whitney, who added he will donate $10,000 to the effort to defeat the amendment next year.

State Party Chairman Tony Sutton says individual Republicans can disagree with Republican beliefs on some issues, but says the official party platform will retain its support for the constitutional gay marriage ban.

“The Republican Party unconditionally supports the state party platform calling for a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Sutton said in a statement. “The Republican Party of Minnesota is a true grassroots organization and the party platform reflects the views and values of the majority of Republicans elected by their neighbors in communities throughout Minnesota. The party recognizes that not all Republicans might agree with all of the party platform at all times; debate is healthy, but at the end of the day the MNGOP stands behind and supports its activist and passage of the marriage amendment.”

Some Republican strategists, however, say gay marriage is a “generational issue” and that young voters — the future of any political party — are not necessarily against gay marriage.

A May 2011 Gallup Poll found that for the first time, a slim majority support gay marriage: 53 percent.

Also, the younger the person, the more likely to support it: 70 percent of 18 to 34 year olds were found to support gay marriage, compared to only 39 percent of people 55 and older.

Pat Kessler

Comments (42)
  1. Jake says:

    Gee, no names of these pro-gay marriage republicrats? Were they wearing their Halloween masks early?

  2. Tom says:

    The GOP are biggest hyprocrits> They claim to believe in keeping gov’t out of personal lives, yet they turn around and support an issue that does just that because they have a base of social conservatives who don’t line in reality!

    1. Jake says:

      Kriesel and his pals are the hypocrites. If they want government out of people’s private lives, they’d end government recognition of any marriage, not adding governmental subsidy of newfangled “marriages” that aren’t grounded in the historical and religious bases for marriage.

  3. jan says:

    Two names were mentioned and the other names are of public record. I’m happy to know that some republicans are doing the right thing by opposing that stupid ban

  4. Hands in Your Pockets says:

    Noses in your business.

    Let us tell you, how it will be.
    You can’t do that; we’re the GOP!!

  5. walk the walk guys says:

    The basic Republican ideology has plenty of room to move the party out of social issues altogether. First however, they need to realize that the religious right is no longer worth pandering to. They can advocate personal responsibility and freedom of choice, and tell the bible banging Puritan wannabes not to force their choices on everyone else. Then they can be the inclusive freedom loving party they were meant to be and reestablish their appeal to the middle.

  6. Julie says:

    Tony Sutton you should be ashamed of yourself.
    The government has no right to tell us who we can and cannot marry.

    You people defend it on a religious level.
    Decisions of Law cannot be based in religious dogma.
    That opens the door for more bussdookie legislation that infringes on yet more of our PERSONAL RIGHTS.

    I will tell everyone I know that Tony Sutton defends the governments desire to curb us of yet more of our personal freedoms.

    Oh, I think Ron Paul would be disapointed in you too.

  7. Daniel says:

    If the republican party wants to be around in 10 or 20 years they must drop the social issues. I agree with Republicans on many issues but I have never voted for a republican once in my life. Any group who denies people the right to love each other in marrage or tells someone what they can or cannot do with their body is not a true conservative!

  8. The Crux of the Buscuit says:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Sounds to me like you can marry anyone you want based on those words……

  9. Fairness says:

    I’m not against it, but I’m not for it either. I don’t care. No law should be created to help or hinder people because of sexual orientation. No special treatment (e.g. special anti-bully laws only governing sexual orientation) and no laws that prohibit (e.g. the const. amendment before us.) It should be a non-issue in the eyes of the law.

    1. DJ from southern MN says:

      I’m not against gays, but I’m a Christian who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman….if gays want to get tax credit as those who are together do? That’s fine with me also.

      Just please do not call what gay couples want “MARRIAGE” ….call it something else!

      1. a rose... says:

        yeah DJ, we could call it marriage.

      2. Margaret J says:


        The problem is that apparently “civil unions” are also too much to ask. It just proves the point that MN GOP is a little too hateful. Just because I don’t like something, doesn’t mean that I should make it illegal. If we let this one in our constitution, then where and when do we stop? Women could become property again, divorce could become illegal, etc? This is a very slippery slope and it can get out of control if we don’t keep this noise in check.

  10. Linda says:

    If this is everything the Republican party stands for, seems to me that being thrown out would be a good thing. They may have betrayed YOUR idea of God and the American way, but they fit right in with mine. I applaud them for standing up for their beliefs.

    1. Margaret J says:

      Linda, here is a quote quote for ya.

      “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” – Sinclair Lewis.

  11. Angus says:

    The gay marraige ban is another Republican appeal to hate, prejudice, and unfounded fear. Contratulations to those in the Republican party who will stand up and disagree with the official party line.

    I am sure that those who do no obey the party line will be cut off from funding, publicity, etc. I thought it was dictatorships that demand absolute obediance by all party members.

    1. Jenny says:

      More pablum from the Demosnats…you just printed hate, prejudice and unfounded fear by insulting the Repuklican…oh thats right, in the democrat party, everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it matches the parties. Both parties are a joke and do a terrible job governing.

  12. It's About Time says:

    I’m looking forward to voting on the Marriage Amendment.

  13. Jake says:

    Nobody CARES what you gays do in your closet or home. But you have no business trying to make your liifestyle ‘mainstream’, and getting a tax break to BOOT. You have ignored the huge costs to society due to AIDS, pushing those costs on the average citizen, with NO apologies.

    1. Reality sucks says:

      Jake, you need to shut your ignorant pie hole. That’s just so dumb on so many levels. Let them get married and join the ranks of the 50% in misery that abounds. It’s not a big deal. Social issues are not your gig.

    2. Money Money Money says:

      Jake – I’m pretty sure the cost of all the gays with AIDS doesn’t even come close to all the cost of all the heterosexuals on the welfare books with their illegitimate children. From a cost standpoint, I think the gays may be saving society money. Just a thought….

    3. james2 says:

      you gays, it’s them gays, GAYS GAYS GAYS! wanna go out sometime Jake?

    4. just sayin says:

      Wow. I wonder what it feels like to be so stupid and clueless.
      Talk to Africa Jake.

      BTW I am what you call Log Cabin. Don’t care for marriage.
      But wouldn’t mind the tax break. I bet I am more successful than you anyway.

      1. @Just sayin says:

        Haha log cabin, gross is that referring to the logs you push back into your partner?

  14. Jake says:

    @reallity, GO POUND SAND. BAD SOCIAL POLICY is at the HEART of our collctive bad NATIONAL POLICY. BAD values, good money going to BAD PEOPLE, Bad people promoting MORE BAD PEOPLE, it’s a terrible cycle. Nobody being held accountible, good people, their children , their grandchildren, being left the pay the bills left by the BAD PEOPLE. It’s as simple as that.

  15. Jake says:

    Reality, you need to pay the ‘bill’, for your expanded ‘freedoms’, because you honestly know that your recklessness is costing the rest of us a huge bundle. Go ask jason or some other wdfler for a hug.

    1. Reality sucks says:

      I have no idea what any of that means. There are quotes around “bill” and “freedoms” and something about my recklessness costing you a bundle. So, let me try this… I’m “straight” and I cost you nothing and my job happens to be to “defend” your freedoms. Go figure!

      1. Hey Zeus! says:

        I think somebody tips the Jakester forward and words fall out.

  16. Julie says:

    Aren’t these kind of shennanigans the reason the colonies split off from England? Using religious fear pumped indoctrinations to make people think it is alright to use Law to cram what they ‘think’ is right (to them) on the general populace?

    How the hell would the union of a woman and a woman or a man and a man really affect you? Other than bruise your ego’s because it goes against what you feel to be right? (That directed to the ones who think it is alright to use Law to cram their beliefs down the throats of others.)

    Adding this to the State Constitution is a mistake. It goes against the Greater Constitution, and it begins with:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    I translate that to be “Free to be You and Me”
    Meaning I can live my life to the fullest.
    If that means I have a Wife, then sweet.
    I am free to choose to go that route, if I want to.

    As an American though, I really resent the government having the ability to butt itself into my life and dictate its whims at me regarding who I do and do not choose to wish to marry. Religion has no place in politics and stop defending the concept of marraige solely based as a christian concept. (This amendment is trying to preserve the christian concept of marraige by making it illegal for same gender couples to marry. That is essentially christianity shoving a gloved fist down the throats of everyone no matter their faith.)

    The fact that this could happen, I imagine it would make the Founding Fathers sick to their stomachs. And before anyone who really has no freakin clue about them and starts spewing all this under god tripe, research them. A good number of our Beloved Founding Fathers were NOT Christian.
    They were Deists. Research Deism. It is rather interesting.

  17. Fudgecrammer says:

    Putting a Johnson into another mans rearend is the issue here, it’s flat out disgusting.

    1. Mike says:

      I also imagine your a very lonely individual with a girlfriend that is inflatable with air, but I am not going to give it any more thought after I finish spelling it out. Maybe you should stop thinking about what others do in their privacy or maybe you should see if you could find a mate to give you what you keep dreaming others are doing and your missing out on.

      1. Mike?? says:

        “Its raining Men” is that your ringtone

    2. just sayin says:

      And you don’t do that to a woman? Please, you know you’ve wanted it.

      1. @justsayin says:

        Yes I have done that to a woman, the difference is SHE doesn’t have a ball bag that hangs from her, you understand?

  18. Julie says:

    This is the garbage I am talking about.
    Your idiotic thinking does not need to be made into law and crammed down the throats of others.

    Why is someone elses personal life any of your business?
    I seriously don’t take people like you seriously, Fudgyboy.

    Also, that is not the issue.
    Your insecurity is.
    Big man needs to use law to make sure ‘His Way’ gets enforced.
    Stop trying to get a legal reason to bully.

  19. chuck says:

    This would not even be an issue if government didn’t get involved in the first place. Take marriage out of the government and this goes away.

  20. just sayin says:

    I know plenty of republicans that don’t care one way or the other.

  21. Julie says:

    Beliefs have no place in politics unless they are based in neutral ethics.
    Religion has no ethical place in politics or legislature.
    If it is allowed, the government is no better than the crown Early America defected from.

    I might not like something but I would never attempt to push what I feel is right about my beliefs down anyone’s throat disguised as a Law.
    What I would try to do is preserve my right to live my life as a Free American, with the ability to live a safe life if I choose to be different.
    It is NO ONE’S BUSINESS but MINE in regards to MY LIFE.

  22. Margaret J says:

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” – Sinclair Lewis.