Pity Representative Steve Drazkowski. Bogged down by a competitive race last year, the poor dear apparently didn't have time to keep up with news in the Winona Daily News of the campaign against the amendment to restrict the freedom to marry.
How else to explain his column, DFL puts gay marriage above balanced budget, in today's Winona Daily News? He writes:
These are the same folks who spent the last election cycle promising residents that if they voted ‘no’ on the Marriage Amendment, nothing would change in state law. Now these individuals are not only going back on their word, they are focused on approving this “divisive social issue” before they set a budget.
This is a sad, sad day. Not only had Draz missed the recent news that the vote won't come up until after the budget work is done:
Democratic leaders have said setting the state budget will come before addressing policy issues such as gay marriage. That means full House and Senate debate probably will not come up until mid-April at the earliest.
the Mazeppa conservative also didn't catch last year's news in the very paper where his column appears.
Draz must have been deep in conversation with some of the sixty percent of St. Charles voters who loathe frac sand processing to have missed to the announcement of Congressman Tim Walz's opposition to the amendment because it would restrict the freedoms of gay and lesbian service people and veterans. In Walz: Vote ‘no’ on amendment, the WDN reported:
U.S. Rep. Tim Walz took a firm public stance Tuesday against Minnesota’s proposed constitutional marriage amendment.
Walz on Tuesday announced the formation of Veterans United, a group of military personnel about 100 strong so far that will urge voters to align against the amendment, which would change the state’s constitution to limit marriage to between a man and woman. The group, affiliated with Minnesotans United for All Families — the primary group organized to challenge the amendment — plans to tour the state from now until Nov. 6 to discuss the ways the amendment would affect gay and lesbian service members.
“I just can’t get around it that this is limiting freedoms for a group of Americans because of who they are and who they choose to marry,” Walz said.
“It’s a conversation I think people need to think about before they vote on this,” he said. “Is this really what we want to do?”
Funny how Draz missed that.
And then there were the pro-marriage freedom rallys that the paper covered. In June 2012, the WDN reported in Rally opposes marriage amendment:
About 100 area residents supportive of gay marriage filled the Jaycee Pavilion at Lake Park on Wednesday evening, rallying to defeat the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would define marriage as between a man and woman.
“This amendment doesn’t create any jobs. It doesn’t help any families. Instead, it ensures that some Minnesotans wouldn’t be able to share the same liberties as other Minnesotans,” said Mike Slagenweit-Coffman, a Winona native and chaplain resident in Eau Claire, Wis.
He was one of several speakers at the event sponsored by Minnesotans United for All Families — an organization running a statewide campaign against the amendment — who told audience members why he will vote no in November, explaining how after seminarian school he fell in love with the man who would become his husband.
The two men were married in 2010 in Washington D.C., where their marriage legally is recognized, Slagenweit-Coffman said.
“Take a stand for love,” he encouraged. “Know that this amendment to our constitution only creates barriers for love.”
It was a theme echoed by some audience members and other event speakers.
“I don’t believe the Constitution is used to take people’s rights away,” audience member Dan Debroux said before the event.
Draz must have been talking out talking to campers about the need to cut down black walnut trees in the area's state parks when that edition hit the street. Still, you'd think that he would have seen the orange t-shirts with the slogan about not limiting the freedom to marry.
Bluestem posted a picture of a nice lady wearing one at the rally, banked by signs bearing the messaging from Minnesotans United for All Families. This photo was published in the WDN.
Finally, Draz (or, let's be honest here, the Republican house caucus staff person who likely drafted the column) missed dozens of letters published in the Daily News from amendment opponents. Click on the links to read I am an embarrassed Catholic or None of the bishops’ business or Eric Schiltz: No on the marriage amendment which begins:
In November, Minnesotans will go to the polls to decide whether we should amend our constitution to exclude lesbians and gays from the joys of marriage.. . .
Or Leslie Hittner: A not-so-fine kettle of fish which begins:
Mary Thom’s recent letter is a great example of the pot calling the kettle black. She talks about all of the red herring arguments supporting same-sex marriage and then tosses out a whole smelly paragraph of her own opposing same-sex marriage.
Or Charlie and Gail Opatz: The marriage of Franny and Irene who write:
In August, we celebrated my daughter’s marriage to her partner Irene in Portland, Ore. It was a special day, filled with traditional things — neither of them seeing each other’s dress prior to the ceremony — as well as personal, unique touches — walking up the aisle to a rock guitar riff.. . .
Or Trina Dienger: Vote for supporting people who begins:
Harming anyone, whether mentally or physically, is unethical to me and is the sole indicator I use when deciding if I should do something. When I see a gay or lesbian person suffer emotionally because they can’t marry their partner (who they have been committed to for years and who they have…
Or Lisa Gray: Being true who notes:
We humans have a problem with storytelling. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we want to be true that it becomes hard to figure out what is true. When we can’t figure it out, we beat ourselves up for it because we need answers. . . .
There are plenty more, and the message is consistent: we support the freedom to marry and this amendment must be stopped so the conversation can go forward.
It's too bad Draz missed them. To paraphrase Gray, who is the nice lady in the photograph, Draz has a problem with storytelling. Sometimes he gets so caught up in what he wants to be true that it becomes hard to figure out what is true.
Too bad, however, that when he can’t figure it out, he beats the truth itself for what he wants to be true.
Photo: Lisa Gray speaks at a pro-marriage freedom rally. We think that Draz has spent too much time listening to this guy from out-of-state: Don't lie to children: at MN capitol, NOM leader Brian Brown lies to (and about) adults instead
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