The campaign to defeat a proposed gay
marriage ban in Minnesota is reaching out to young Republicans.
According to Politics
in Minnesota, Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition
of groups working to defeat passage of the amendment in November, is
looking to young Republicans to help achieve that goal.
A recent event sponsored by the group
which featured GOP Reps. John Kriesel and Tim Kelly drew roughly 50
people. Among the organizers was Madeline Koch, who worked for
former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman.
Video of Koch's testimony before a
Minnesota Senate committee hearing considering the ban went viral
earlier this year.
In her testimony, Koch, 24, said the
amendment would take the GOP in the wrong direction.
“I don't believe that equal rights
for same-sex couples – or anyone – is a partisan issue.”
“The need for equality and the full
acceptance of GLBT people is something Minnesota's next generation of
leaders has already embraced,” Koch told senators. (The video is
embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Kriesel, who heads the group
Republicans Against the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, and Kelly voted
against the amendment.
During the debate in the House on
whether to send the issue to voters, Kriesel told colleagues that a
near death experience while serving in Iraq changed his mind on the
“It woke me up. It changed me,”
Kriesel said. “Because of that, it's made me think about this
issue. And say, 'You know what, what would I do without my wife?'
She makes me happy. Life is hard. We're in a really tough time in
our history. Happiness is so, so hard to find for people. So they
find it, they find someone that makes them happy, and we want to take
that person away. We want to say, 'Oh no, you can be together, you
can love that person, but you can't marry them.' You can't marry
them. That's wrong.”
Koch told Politics in Minnesota that
her generation of Republicans sees sexual orientation as a non-issue.