The Austin Herald reports that Gay marriage debate distracts from budget. Last week MPR noted that Some fear a new push against same-sex marriage will come with a backlash. That backlash is economic:
Republican sponsors say the proposal to define marriage in the constitution as between a man and a woman will protect the sanctity of marriage. They've been trying since 2004 to put a same sex-marriage ban on the ballot and have their best chance of doing so this year, now that they control the Legislature.
But some opponents of the idea are using a key GOP talking point against it: They say it will hurt the state's economy.
Read the entire article. Don't want an inclusive community? That might cost us all in Minnesota.
And along with the rational, best-economic-interests arguments, two stories related to soldiers who fought in Afghanistan pull at pathos, companion to the logos of the marketplace.
Hot Dish Politics reports the reaction to the constitution amendment by Afghanstan War vet John Kriesel in Republican Rep. talks about his opposition to same-sex marriage ban:
While a House committee was approving a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on party lines Monday, Republican Rep. John Kriesel was a few floors up explaining his opposition to the measure.
"I look at it as: We are all equal," said the first year representative from Cottage Grove.
"It is not right. I can't do it. I'm very upset about this vote. I don't like it. I think it sends the wrong message. You live once in your life and I've learned that the hard way," said the military veteran, who lost his legs while serving in Afghanistan. "You never know when it is going to be your time. People fight to find happiness....You find someone you love and now other people are saying because I don't consider that normal, you can't do it?"
"It's just wrong," Kriesel said. "There is not anything that can move me on this."
Last week, the father of a gay solider who lost his life in Afghanstan sought to move the hearts of a senate committee hearing the amendment. Doug Grow has the story in Father of Minnesota soldier takes his case against marriage amendment to state House, veterans groups.
Jeff Wilfahrt doesn’t hold out much hope that he can persuade state Republicans to put the brakes on their plans to put a marriage-amendment on the ballot in 2012.
Still, he wants them to know that their desire to restrict marriage to a man and a woman in the state’s Constitution would affect people such as his son, a soldier who was killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Feb. 27, just days before he was scheduled to go on leave. . . .
Go read the statements by Wilfahrt.
This is powerful stuff: a soldier who gave some, and a family that gave all, connecting the dots between sacrifice and equality. Though Kriesel's party colleague may not listen to him, let's hope the voters can hear the cries of this man's thirst for justice.
Photo: Andrew Wilfahrt, son of Jeff Wilfahrt.