While the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports in Why were Minnesota Republicans quiet about the Supreme Court's marriage decision?, a glance at Minnesota House Republicans' Facebook pages reveals that some legislators were not at all quiet about last week's decision.
Veteran political reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger writes:
. . .when the court decided to legalize same-sex marriage across the nation, we in Minnesota again heard an overwhelming outburst. The reactions came pouring in -- from state and federal leaders -- even though Minnesota had legalized same-sex marriage in 2013.
On that day, the statements were one-sided. "A great day," "love is love," "I could not be more proud," the statements said.
Official statements from opponents were absent. . . .
Limmer had sponsored the Minnesota constitutional amendment that would have sought a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Voters rejected that move in 2012, and the next year, the Legislature approved extended marriage to those in gay relationships.
The Supreme Court's decision did not necessitate a public outpouring, he and other gay marriage opponents said, because Minnesota had already settled it in 2013.
"For us, the issue was kind of over," Limmer said. Minnesota Republicans had no need to re-open the marriage wound last week.
Gregg Peppin, a Republican activist and operative, said the Supreme Court decision called for reflection, not a call to action.
"We are still absorbing it," he said. "What does it mean to my religious faith and my religious life? " . . .
Peppin, who consulted for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson's campaign last year, also said the GOP is sensitive to discussion of social issues. Republicans have been accused of focusing too much on what happens in people's bedrooms and appearing uncaring.
"Some of this is just sheer politics," Peppin said.
With no statewide Republicans on the ballot next year, and little legal recourse, they just stayed quiet.
Stassen-Berger's assertion that there were no "formal statements" is correct--but a number of Minnesota Republican House members were by no means silent on Facebook.
Take Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) who sought his party's endorsement over sitting state representative David FitzSimmons, who retired when he lost the Republican nod. Lucero mulled over several potential actions in response to the ruling.
In one, he posted an article from Truth In Media, Alabama Senate Approves Bill to Abolish Marriage Licensing, along with the question, "Is this the correct response to the US Supreme Court usurping State's rights? Why or why not?
Fellow freshman Joshua Heintzeman answered, "Unfortunately this could create something worse. By taking no position the door to child marriages and polygamy is wide open."
Lucero is also considering authoring "Tenther" legislation. In another post, he wrote:
The comment was above an image of the Tenth Amendment.
Whether education, health care, energy, environment, transportation, marriage, or any of the thousands of other examples, I am sick and tired of the Federal Government blatantly ignoring the 10th Amendment and usurping States' Rights.
I am mulling the idea of authoring a bill or resolution reaffirming the 10th Amendment so Minnesota can begin a movement to push back.
But Friday’s ruling inscribes in our Constitution an entirely new and incorrect definition of marriage that contravenes the self-evident purposes of the institution and contradicts the core convictions of countless people of faith. The Supreme Court’s grave error compels Americans to take sides in an unprecedented conflict between faith and government coercion. The People’s collective response will determine the future of religious liberty in our Nation.
Franson also shared a meme:
Franson also wondered aloud whether the United States Department of Education's response to the SCOTUS decision was a signal that there would be more discussion of same sex marriage in public schools:
Should the U.S. Department of Education be taking part in the conversation of the same sex marriage ruling? Is the conversation going to be taking place in the public school settings more so than it already is?
I also took a screen shot of the Dept of Ed's page.
In a previous post, Cindy Pugh frets that SCOTUS that approved marriage equality will also like to sharia law, Bluestem looked at Chanhassen Republican Cindy Pugh's fretting about the Court imposing sharia law and the coming decision causing the Washington Monument to be struck by lightning.
It's not being quiet.
However, some Republican Minnesota House members whose pages are open posted nothing about the topic (Tony Cornish was off on what seemed to be a delightful fishing trip), others were silent, and yes, some responded with religious content that wasn't particularly "message" driven. Take that of first term state rep Abigail Whelan (R-Anoka):
The song is contemporary Christian praise music that's fairly "open" in its meaning, rather than closed to a political discussion about one topic. Whelan appears to have saved up her anti-LGBT for a radio interview. Check out Andy Birkey's coverage in The Column article, MN Senator: Bathroom bill needed because Caitlyn Jenner still likes women.
As the Facebook posts show, while Republicans weren't sending official statements to the press about the SCOTUS marriage equality decision, some engaged in conversation with the public about it on social media. Bluestem thinks that this dual approach allows the caucus to have its cake and eat it too.
Photo: A rainbow flag outside the Supreme Court building.
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