Senator Branden Petersen (R-Andover) will co-author a marriage equality bill being introduced tomorrow, despite a threat from the National Organization for Marriage. St. Paul Pioneer Press staff writer Megan Boldt reports in National org pledges to defeat any GOP legislator who votes for gay marriage:
The National Organization for Marriage says it will spend $500,000 to defeat any Republican legislator who votes to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota.
On the flip side, the group also pledged to support any Democrat who votes against the measure.
NOM specifically targeted Sen. Branden Petersen, R-Andover, in its announcement on Monday, Feb. 25. Petersen said last week he would sign on to a bill that would legalize marriage in the state.
“Republicans like Branden Petersen don’t realize that not only is voting to redefine marriage a terrible policy, it is also a career-ending vote for a Republican,” said NOM president Brian Brown in a statement. “NOM will do everything in our power to defeat any Republican who votes in favor of same-sex marriage.”
Petersen will not be bullied:
“Regardless of the amount, whether it’s $500,000 or $50 million, my vote is not going to bought either way. I’m going to do what’s right,” Petersen said. “If they want to throw away $500,000 then that’s their decision.”
While the young Andover Republican may be the only Republican co-author so far, he's not the only prominent Minnesota Republican speaking out for the freedom to marry. Former RNC member and state auditor Pat Anderson writes in A GOP activist in support of same-sex marriage in Minnesota:
. . . I applaud Republican State Sen. Branden Petersen for expressing his support of legislation that would extend the basic freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Minnesota, and I urge other Republican legislators and Minnesotans to join him.
I have been involved at nearly every level of Republican politics for more than two decades. I deeply believe in our party's core principles, and I want to see the Republican Party succeed. It is for that reason that I feel compelled to speak out and urge other Minnesota Republicans to follow Sen. Petersen's leadership. . . .
Tomorrow morning, Wednesday, February 27, legislative leaders will announce legislation to grant same-sex couples the freedom to marry in Minnesota. The bipartisan legislation, co-authored by Republican Senator Branden Petersen, will be formally introduced on Thursday.
The introduction of this historic legislation comes on the heels of the Freedom to Marry Day rally on February 14, when more than 2,000 Minnesotans packed into the State Capitol Rotunda in support of marriage for same-sex couples. Faith leaders – who are now joining with business leaders and legislators – led that rally and are now calling on the Legislature to change state law this year to ensure that all Minnesota families are able to protect and care for each other through marriage.
Bill authors including Senator Scott Dibble and Representatives Karen Clark and Steve Simon speak tomorrow about the importance of passing this legislation in 2013. They will be joined by United Church of Christ Minnesota Conference Minister Reverend Karen Smith Sellers, Rabbi Michael Latz of Shir Tikvah Congregation, and Minnesota families and children who will positively benefit from having the same freedom to marry as anyone else.
Minnesotans United head Richard Carlbom told the Pioneer Press:
“Leaders who help secure the freedom to marry will be rewarded by voters – just like in every other state.”
Photo: Sen. Branden Petersen and his children (above) MN United director Richard Carlbom pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all (below). Via Star Tribune.
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