House passes marriage equality; Carver County Reps vote no

The marriage equality bill passed the Minnesota State House of Representatives today 75-59.  Four Republican Representatives voted in favor of the bill:  Jenifer Loon (Eden Prairie), Andrea Kieffer (Woodbury), Pat Garofalo (Farmington), and David FitzSimmons (Albertville), while two DFL Representatives voted against it:  Patti Fritz (Faribault) and Mary Sawatzky (Willmar).

Carver County Representatives Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska), Ernie Leidiger (R-Mayer), and Cindy Pugh (R-Chanhassen) all voted no, even after FitzSimmons’s amendment to rename all references to “marriage” in Minnesota statute as “civil marriage”, thereby providing additional reassurance that religious institutions would not be impacted by approval of marriage equality.

As previously noted, voters in both Hoppe and Pugh’s districts voted against the marriage amendment last November  so they are swimming upstream in this regard.  Pugh’s vote is a distinct contrast from her district, as 33B voted against the marriage amendment by 17 points – -the third largest margin of the 21 House Republican districts that voted against the amendment.

[Picture of the voting board above courtesy of Leanne Kunze’s Twitter stream.]


58 Responses to “House passes marriage equality; Carver County Reps vote no”

  1. Polls actually showed Carver County as a solid “no”, so the legislators did actually represent the their districts. You assume the “no” on the last amendment was a “yes” for this one. It apparently was not.

    • There’s a huge difference in how this issue is perceived between the east and west sides of the county. Leidiger’s district is solidly in the anti-equality camp. Hoppe’s district is closely divided. Pugh’s district, which spans counties, is pretty solid in the pro-equality column.

      • Going on the November vote for that? I’m guessing analysis isn’t a strong suit of yours.

        • Polling data isn’t terribly reliable, either, John. Like those polls that said that the Voter ID amendment was going to win last November, for instance.

          • You have to figure in the number of people who didn’t vote on the amendment last time. Abstaining meant no, legally, but those who decided to stay out of it, skewed your numbers. Our reps are NOT swimming upstream on this. As you will see in 2014, it is Dems statewide who are. They will lose their seats. Out state, even in very DFL districts, this is not popular. Maybe the civil language will appease some of that. I just hope everyone stays cool. I know some good ol’ union boys that want to get violent on this one.

            • The polling trends argue otherwise. Nate Silver has a detailed analysis of this, and those trends were also reflected in the RNC report earlier this year. In the long term, and even in the next couple of years, the stance in favor of marriage equality will be a benefit for most of those who made such a decision.

              Additionally, as many have pointed out, those who voted against marriage equality in opposition to the will of their district will also face scrutiny. In the end, this will not be a problem for the DFL and the GOP members that joined in affirming those rights.

              • Heavy DFL out state districts are against it. Add to that the new proposed tax burden put on these people. There will be backlash. I don’t think Loon will receive much negative impact. The gay marriage approval rates only exist in the heavy metro areas. She’s in one of the few metro counties that support this, so she’ll be fine. There will be no effect on our county’s people from the way they voted.

                • Again, look at the trend. With each year, support for marriage equality is growing. While it may not be enough to swing election results by itself, in the end the idea of this creating a “veto-proof” majority as you claim is nonsense. The voting and historical trends do not support such wild notions.

                  Furthermore, the comment about “the new proposed tax burden put on these people” doesn’t make sense. Efforts to recognize marriage equality at the state and federal level will provide tangible benefits to those involved, which can only be a positive for the bipartisan group that supports such efforts.

                  • The tax burden on “these people” referred to out state DFL’ers. Meaning the DFL over reach on this and the massive tax increases are going to cost them the majority, big time.

                    Perhaps the civil union language will sit with them. If you remember, it’s what I had called for earlier, as did Sean.

                    • Let’s be very clear about what I called for. Certainly, having all such relationships defined as “civil unions” would have been preferable as the original condition. However, that’s not the path that was taken. As such, I am in favor of the marriage equality bill currently before the State Legislature.

                    • John Brunette May 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

                      Civil unions, civil marriage, it’s semantics that were used to appease those who were dead set against this for religious reasons. Did you not recommend that earlier? I believe you did. As did I.

                    • John Brunette May 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

                      Here’s what you said:

                      “Why should government define marriage? Maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe it should be civil unions for all, and allow churches to administer the sacrament of marriage. Government would be free to promote child-bearing with incentives that would be based on the child, not on its parents. That seems like a more coherent “small government” approach.”

                    • You missed the additional context, John:

                      “Drew, I concur that such a “civil unions for all” proposal has the demerits you cite, and as such isn’t really feasible at this point. I was just putting it out there to see what the reactions were.”

                      I favor the current marriage equality bill to the civil unions bill offered by Rep. Kelly.

                    • John Brunette May 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

                      So you are against the language in this bill that has been amended to “civil marriage”?

                    • No, I like the “civil marriage” amendment and expect that the Senate will adopt the House language today.

                    • John Brunette May 13, 2013 at 11:23 am

                      I’m not sure there is much difference other than semantics.

                    • I believe Sean’s desire was to completely remove the government from the word “marriage” entirely, to which I expressed concerns about the actual letter of the law in this and other states that would still reinforce a subclass of rights to same-sex couples, based on definitions. Again, there are historical foundations for such concerns.

                      In this case, defining all marriage regulations at the government level as referring to the civil institution provides an equal and uniform standard under the law, unlike the “larriage” or “garriage” idea you suggested at one point. It also clarifies the right of any religious institution to perform and sanction marriages based on their beliefs, which should be protected.

  2. This also means 2014, we get the majority back. In both houses. And a veto-proof majority at that. Add to that the massive over-reach on taxes. We might even end up with a GOP Governor. I can hardly wait to see how much more the DFL screws up their futures.

    • I can guarantee you that the GOP won’t take back the Senate in 2014.

      • Yeah, suppose most of them aren’t up yet. Might have to wait 2016 to get it all back. We will. You think the GOP over played it’s hand last time. The DFL just did the same, AND they want to tax the hell out of us. Gee, what a shocking result. Can you say, predicted? What did every thinking man know the day after MN became fully DFL controlled? Tax would go up, way, way up, and so would spending. To bad more people don’t think before they pull the levers.

        I don’t what will shock the people more. That there reps went against them on gay marriage, or that suddenly they are the rich, and just didn’t know it yet. Reality bites!

  3. I know Drew refused to answer why many gay men are against this, but he’s about to find out. I hope they are wrong…

    • What evidence do you have that homosexuals of any sizeable proportion are against equality under the law? You’ve offered nothing to substantiate such claims, hence there is nothing of substance to address.

      • I didn’t say they were against equality. I said they are against gay marriage. I know better than to ask you to answer the question again because it doesn’t fit your agenda, so you never will.

        • What a preposterous notion, Mr. Brunette. If you read the comment I posted above, and look through your own comments on this forum, what you will clearly see is that you’ve offered nothing to substantiate this claim of a sizeable portion of gay men being against this.

          Instead, you offer vague innuendos of doom, and ominous comments of “I hope they are wrong…” without any foundation or substance.

          Braying louder doesn’t change that reality. So unless you have something more than a notion that only you know about, then stop trolling.

          • I’m not even sure how you bray louder on a blog site, but knock yourself out. The “innuendos of doom” don’t come from me. I know a point couldn’t sink through your thick skull without a hammer, but this is the biggest area of concern from gay men opposed to gay marriage. They don’t give a hoot about wearing a ring and having a fancy ceremony, and fear the backlash from those opposed. That’s not some fabrication I made up. You see, I’m straight. Always have been, always will be. But that doesn’t mean I don’t listen. And this is a reality coming from gay men. Maybe not from the super effeminate variety, and perhaps less a concern in cities where the “safety in numbers” is helpful. But when you get out state, this is a concern.

            You’re issue is that you can’t admit what exists if it taints your rather limited political views.

            • It helps if you actually say such things, instead of referencing some unknown fear (which you do frequently, Mr. Brunette, when it suits you). Again, this is the first time you’ve referenced any concern about a backlash, and again without any source or context, even now. All we have is some generic thought without substance or support. Such vague generalities, tossed in with your paranoid political barbs, tend to discredit your foundations.

              It is also worth noting that a fear of reprisal is not a valid reason to restrict rights to whole classes or groups of people. If such logic was granted, then much of the progress of the last 200 years would be erased; indeed, the very foundation of our republic would be undermined.

              As for your lies about my political views, it is worth noting that even when I’ve vehemently defended the GOP, you attack. Your beliefs center around uniformity to your world view, and vile attacks on anything to the contrary. Fortunately the party is attempting to remove such tactics from its reputation, and perhaps you can take a lesson from this, rather than continuing an approach that only weakens the appeal of the party and does damage to your efforts. After all, throughout this discussion on marriage equality, I based my arguments on the writings and words of conservatives. Strange that your only comeback is to ignore that reality.

              • This is not the first time I’ve referenced any such thing. It’s just that you couldn’t see in your blind rage as to where the opposition from the gay community was coming from.

                As to poor tactics, when the DFL stops its poor tactics, I will do the same. When the Governor stops lying to our faces about things, we’ll stop calling him on it. When Obama and Hillary stop lying to our faces on on Libya, (and nearly everything else under the sun), we’ll play nice.

                After 8 years of Bush derangement syndrome, I fell we’ve earned the right to be a bit pissy once in a while.

                Please, stick to topics you can understand for once, will ya? You lack of logical conclusion on anything seems fairly minuscule.

                And if you ever remotely endorse a conservative perspective, I’ll be the first to congratulate you. So far, I’ve yet to see any inkling that you can take off your ultra liberal glasses.

                • Again, you referenced some obscure concept, without any substance or evidence. That is meaningless. In fact, you have yet to provide anything to substantiate your “concern” other than saying that you heard about it, which could mean you heard one person say something out of context. Without any foundation, such a claim cannot be taken as serious discourse.

                  As for sticking on topic, once again you’re trying to alter the conversation to obscure false conclusions. Indeed, there is a difference between being “a bit pissy once in a while” and declaring that those who disagree with your totalitarian view of party and politics “are dead” to you, as you have done.

                  My sources came from conservative Supreme Court justices, GOP candidates for high office, founders of the Tea Party movement, the Constitution, and national reports from the GOP itself. While they don’t all openly rally behind marriage equality, they do note the contradiction between advocating for a limited, law-bound government and using government to interfere in the personal lives of the people without cause. They also recognize the harm to the reputation of the GOP and American conservatism when extremist rhetoric poisons discourse.

                  You may disagree with some of their conclusions, but that does not give you the right to monopolize conservative thought and limit it to only that which you wish to hear.

                  Your legal, societal, and political arguments were found to be wanting. Trying to play a victim card based on a non-existent political animus does not change that fact, Mr. Brunette.

                  • What makes you think I disagree with the conclusions of these conservative leaders you quoted? Name for me one that I disagreed with and how I disagreed.

                    • You either dismissed them, treated such conclusions with contempt, or avoided them entirely. As you did with most of the facts presented.

                      For example, I quoted the RNC report that said “For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.” You dismissed the issue as nonexistent (“This issue isn’t harming the GOP one bit”), even though the national party was the one who wrote the report, and polls consistently show this attitude as undermining the perception of the GOP. When pressed, you avoided the subject, as always.

                      When you attempted to play the victim card on religious persecution, only to have me respond with the words of one of the leading national Jewish organizations that “Religious liberty… does not give anyone the right to demand that someone else be deprived of the ‘right to live the most intimate portions of their lives according to their own deepest convictions.'” How did you respond? You didn’t… you avoided the evidence, yet again.

                      Or when I quoted Phil Russo, one of the founders of the Tea Party, when he said “that the Full Faith and Credit Clause says that legal acts and records from one state are valid in every state. Therefore, if you respect the Constitution and believe in the strict interpretation of the Constitution then you must understand that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.” You refused to address this in any way.

                      Or the questions about the contradictions of DOMA when compared to the Constitution, as presented by conservative justices of SCOTUS. Again, a dodge, no answer.

                      Or the direct quote from the State Bar, which says that marriages from other states are recognized here, per the Constitution. Again, you refused to even try to address this, which is odd for a conservative who claims to adhere to the text of the Constitution.

                      Or when presented with Glenn Beck’s argument that “It’s not about gays, it’s not about homosexuals, it’s not about any of that… It’s about freedom. And the reason why they’ve [marriage equality supporters] won is because they made it about freedom… The argument has been ‘Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot do?'” You trashed Beck, slamming him while refusing to address his substantive argument at all.

                      Or when I pointed out the arguments from Dick Cheney, Bob Portman, and others in the party. You wrote them off, claiming there was no dissention from your point of view in the GOP, basically erasing them from the party because they present a version of conservative philosophy that lacks your reckless rage.

                      Or when shown direct evidence by hundreds of businesses on how DOMA hurts their bottom line and is one of the worst forms of government regulation, and that “DOMA thus impairs employer/employee relations and other business interests.” Your response was to openly support this burdensome government regulation and to disregard their concerns, taking a pro-interventionist, pro-regulation stance in stating that “Well, businesses have lot’s of inconveniences with interstate laws”. For you to abandon any pro-business standard so easily exposes your loyalty to uniformity over sensibility, and erases your previous arguments in that regard as a fraud.

                      So you see, Mr. Brunette, the history in this regard proves my point: you only support conservative standards to the degree that they conform to your wishes and preconceptions. When presented with other points of view from any side, including the right, you either try to play a victim card, label everyone as “liberals”, or declare those people who use their own mind and conscience as “dead” to you (your own words, to be precise). So while you can claim to be aggressive and boisterous, you cannot claim to respect other opinions, even conservative ones. The only voice you respect is your own.

                    • John Brunette May 14, 2013 at 9:08 am

                      See that’s where you are dead wrong. I never disagreed with any of them. I merely stated what the laws were at the time. That’s it. That’s all I ever did. That you misunderstood, yet again, isn’t exactly shocking at this point. Another 400 word diatribe because you can’t wrap your head around where I was coming from, and that I was correct.

                      And as to the gay men against gay marriage, I guessing you think I just pulled that concern out of my ass to make a point. Again, you are lost in your own delusions.

                      Another gay man I know said after yesterday said this about yesterday’s vote in the Senate, “Great, now Aaron’s going to want to get married…”

                      Just because everything you spew comes from batch of pre-approved Benghazi-like talking points, doesn’t mean mine do. Dismissed.

                    • Another gay man I know said after yesterday said this about yesterday’s vote in the Senate, “Great, now Aaron’s going to want to get married…”

                      That sounds like a relationship issue, not a legitimate reason to vote against gay marriage. By that standard, we should get rid of marriage altogether.

                    • Again, Mr. Brunette, it would help if you didn’t run from your own words.

                      So on Sean’s point, I would have to agree. If that is the foundation of your supposed argument, that homosexual couples will have to discuss marriage and commitment, then that isn’t any reason to oppose marriage equality. If anything, it encourages stable relationships, which is a positive, not something to oppose, and certainly not an argument to deny equality under the law.

                      As for your utter disregard for other conservative opinions, your claim that “I never disagreed with any of them” is a convenient lie. You dismissed Glenn Beck’s evaluation by attacking the man and ignoring the strong foundations of his argument. You wrote off Justice Kennedy’s state’s rights concerns, and openly stated that businesses face regulations all the time, so why should we care about the harm DOMA is doing to them.

                      Again, your own words, quoted directly back to you. You said those things. The record clearly says so, for all to see.

                      And when I quoted the RNC report, you claimed that its findings were not real. You claimed that those issues did not exist. Again, your own words.

                      So to claim that you didn’t ignore or dismiss the voices of many conservatives is a lie.

                      And that is the problem. You would rather troll and demean in order to maintain a singular philosophy and belief than allow for growth in the party, and such conduct only hurts the GOP. This is seen in the condemnation of any local representative that tries to act independently, or how you label such leaders as “dead” to you (again, your own words).

                      In this case, marriage equality is not the end of the world. Many conservatives will use this as an argument for limited government that stays out of the private lives of the citizens. However, as long as there are those who wish to silence discussion and enforce intellectual hegemony on the GOP, then it will be a losing issue for them.

                    • John Brunette May 14, 2013 at 10:27 am

                      Wow, the density here is incredulous. I’m not saying we should ban gay marriage because one guy is against it! When you clowns makes leaps, they sure are far and wide.

                      I’m merely stating that there are those in the gay community that were against this all along, for a variety of reasons. All you have to do is talk to them. Get out more, for crying out loud.

                    • Again, what reasons are you giving, other than “Another gay man I know” and things of that nature?

                      There are some who are afraid of marriage for fear of personal commitment. As Sean pointed out, that is no reason to restrict marriage.

                      And the idea of denying rights to a whole group of citizens because some “fear the backlash from those opposed”, as you put it, is atrocious. By that logic, there should have been no Civil Rights movement, no right for women to vote, and indeed no American Revolution.

                      So unless you have something tangible, then your argument has no point or foundation.

                    • John Brunette May 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

                      Again, I mentioned this just as a concern that some have. It’s not my concern, bonehead. You make so many wild assumptions. Remember I was one who was all for the civil union aspect as a compromise? Can you remember that through all of your thickheaded nonsense? Or does it clash with your talking points? It seems that’s what we ended up with right? Civil marriage? Different from the marriage language as it was is it not? Remember when I also said call it something else? Well, they did. We now have civil marriage which is different from religious marriage. Seems I was right about that as well. Too bad you are far too obtuse to ever admit that I was right about that outcome as well. Who’s out of touch now?

                    • Marriage as defined in state law has always been different than religious marriage. All the “civil marriage” language does is make it even more explicit than it already was.

                    • Exactly.

                      It’s also worth noting that your suggestions first centered around offering some second-class proxy in its place (“garriage”, as you called it). Your revisionist history is grossly inaccurate, Mr. Brunette.

                      As far as the “concerns” you offer: if you did not think such concerns were valid, then why mention them in the first place? And why the gloom and doom that went with it (“I hope they are wrong…”)? Why imply that dire consequences were in the works, if you didn’t even care about what you were saying? Or without any source to go with it, for that matter? Strange that you cannot even stick by your own words, Mr. Brunette, just like you cannot address the conservative arguments I’ve offered in a way that respects such different opinions.

                      Simply put, the effect the passage of marriage equality will have on Minnesota will be minimal. Lives will go on, the only difference being that same-sex couples will no longer have an intrusive barrier into their lives, and will have the same access as other loving couples.

                    • John Brunette May 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

                      So that amendment to the original language wasn’t to really modify the definition. OK. Whatever. Sell it to yourself in a manner that makes you feel correct.

                      And yes, I do hope the concerns of the folks I’ve talked to are wrong. Maybe you’d like to see some dudes dragged behind a car or thumped behind a bar or something like that. I do not. So yes, I do hope the folks I talked to about this are wrong. Perhaps you might get out and talk to some folks that didn’t want this. the backlash was a part of it, but not the only part. The stronger part was leave this for the “straights”. As was demonstrated again by one gay person I know. Sure he said it tongue in cheek, about his pal wanting to get married. Truth is, neither of them gave a flying crap about this bill. It didn’t matter to them, and many others. Just because you are ignorant of some people’s views doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

                      I get why your so upset. You’ve “bloviated” on this topic so much, only to find out I’ve correct all along. We’ve left the definition alone by creating a new class of marriage. Civil marriage, and civil unions, are one in the same are they not? And as to what was and is the law, I was correct about the entire time.

                      Your inability to reconcile within your own wasteland of illogical conclusions is on you buddy. I know it just fit your agenda to have guy like me being correct, but I was, and still am. Enjoy wallowing in your pathetic nonsense. I remain unswayed by your ridiculous baloney. And that’s that.

                    • Your lies are hilarious, Mr. Brunette, but utterly devoid of fact.

                      First off, you’re referencing unknown atrocities and random comments without sources, while ignoring the simple reality that I stated before:

                      Denying rights to a whole group of citizens because some “fear the backlash from those opposed”, as you put it, is atrocious. By that logic, there should have been no Civil Rights movement, no right for women to vote, and indeed no American Revolution.

                      The idea of taking the few examples you choose to acknowledge as grounds to dismiss the rights of an entire group of people is an example of deference to big government intrusion at its worst. It puts stability and fear over the Constitution and the rule of law, and thus is morally corrupt and unsustainable. By that logic, women should never have been recognized with the right to vote, and Jim Crow laws should never have been challenged. Such backward nonsense is worthless, Mr. Brunette; it offers no justification for the fallacies you present.

                      And your claim to being “right” is only true if you ignore what you actually said throughout the discussion. After all, you were the one who offered the idea of “garriage” or “larriage” and went on diatribes on how marriage equality, even on a civil level, would undermine the foundations of society. You were the one who went searching the Internet for articles on bestiality and made references to polygamy, linking them to ANY change in the definition of marriage (again, your own words, posted for all to see).

                      There is little similarity between your standard and the one Sean offered, and even less similarity to the bill that passed. Your own words betray you.

                      And on that note: how can you claim that what happened is exactly what you wanted in the first place, but then argue against the marriage equality act like you have, and try to present it as something that will guarantee GOP super-majorities in the future? How can you say that this will hurt the Dems, and then flip-flop and say it’s what you wanted all along, and not have people see through such a lie?So which reality do you believe in, or is it all about silencing any other point of view? Because your two-faced approach doesn’t hold water.

                      That is the reality, as told by your own words, just as your intolerance for any other political view was exposed through your own comments.

                      You offered a second-class option, while relying on innuendo, myth, and sleaze to try to side-track the conversation. As the RNC noted, such conduct only hurts the party.

                    • John Brunette May 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

                      So what your saying is you are unable to separate what I thought should happen, versus conditions on the ground.

                      For example, I’m not the author of the idea that this hurts the DFL. That idea was floated on At Issue. It was also confirmed by out state voters that they will be holding reps feet to the fire over this. I don’t really care, other than that we will get our majority back from DFL over reach. I’m sorry if pointing that out harms your agenda.

                      Does pointing that out somehow negate that I said, clearly, that they should call it something else, which by the way, um, they DID!?!?

                      Even as of right this very minute, where gay marriage is still illegal in MN, you cannot admit to this day that the law, here, right now, in MN is that marriage is legally defined as between one man and one woman. You see that makes your credibility non-existent.

                      I doesn’t help when you confuse things that other people say as where I stand on an issue. I said I know some good ol’ union boys, in heavy DFL country, that are talking about some nasty acts. As I stated earlier, my hope is that this is false bluster. I don’t want to see anyone get hurt. ANd I don’t bring it up in the hopes that anyone does get hurt. It’s just out there. I guess we’ll see.

                      Now another observation, is that many DFL’ers I personally, like family members, are dead set against this bill for religious reasons. I have’t asked them if the change in the definition to “civil marriage” changes that view. But they live in Farmington, where I grew up, and it certainly won’t help our guy there, even though the massive tax grab may offset that.

                      These are observations. I was under the impression that I could make observations as what other people say, or think, or do, without such as coming from my personal perspective. Then again, I often forget how dense and obtuse that you are, and how you will take everything I state on some wild tangent despite having no basis for it than your own preconceived notions. Good luck with that.

                    • Mr. Brunette, your doublespeak is amazing, but it is a lie, nonetheless.

                      You denied attacking and dismissing other conservative voices… until your own words were quoted back to you, and then you ran away from the point. As always.

                      You claimed to be in favor of allowing for “civil marriage”, but there are over a dozen examples of you railing against that very definition, hunting down examples of bestiality in your free time to try to oppose such a standard. You were fairly specific about it:

                      “It is based upon the definition of what marriage is…”

                      “The definition is one man one woman. And every consensual pair who wishes to may do so. But a marriage isn’t between two men or two women.”

                      “[O]nce you let the horse out of the barn, (pun intended) you’ve now certainly opened up polygamy. If the definition of marriage merely fits as couple or multiples as they see fit, then there really is no such thing as marriage at all…”

                      You were the one making those comparisons, and insisting that any use of the word “marriage” would open that slippery slope. Sean and I were the ones pointing out the difference between the civil definition and the religious realm, and the fact that this bill only addressed the civil definition, something you refused to acknowledge.

                      We said this plainly, multiple times, and you still insisted that the word “marriage” in any form was off limits. You even went as far to say that “If gender is no longer a consideration in the defition [sic], then why isn’t quantity (or species for that matter).”

                      And yet now you’re trying to rewrite history, to the point that even Sean has quoted his own words to discredit your rose-colored revisionism.

                      Your own words, Mr. Brunette; for you to rewrite history to that extent is a lie, plain and simple.

                    • As is trying to sell the lie that I never acknowledged the nature of the law. I plainly said that “Minnesota can bar issuing a marriage license to those related as cousins or closer; that’s what 517.03 does. However, under the law, we must recognize a marriage between cousins from another state. Again, the MSBA, the legal authority for the profession in Minnesota, said this.” I then clearly said the same standard exists with same-sex marriages, per the Constitution.

                      See the point, in that I honor the Constitution as the highest law of the land, and acknowledge what even the founders of the Tea Party clearly state, that ignoring the Constitution when it is convenient is not moral or conservative. Mr. Brunette, you fail on both counts.

                      At this moment, Minnesota has the power to ban marriages to same-sex couples, and until August will continue to do so. My challenge was on the violation of the Constitution of the United States through lack of full faith and credit, something that both the MSBA and the founders of the Tea Party acknowledge as true.

                      For you to claim otherwise is a lie.

                    • Now, onto your random comments from your friends, without any source or substance. Sean already pointed out the flaws in making arguments on such hidden foundations, multiple times.

                      And your history in this regard is rather poor, Mr. Brunette. After all, we’re still waiting to hear about your claims on the states with Voter ID laws that you had in your “other” notebook, that never materialized, especially after Mr. Olsen pointed out that none of your “facts” were true.

                      Irregardless, the whole point of having a lawful republic under a Constitution is that the rights of the people are not subject to the whims of a few. You have nothing to give any substance to your argument; all it is based on is an unconfirmable story based on one opinion, just like your “story” about your friend’s driver’s license, that contradicted all the known laws involved.

                      (On that note: first, you acknowledged your own point was a fraud when you said that “Post 9/11, it probably would never happen again.” In other words, it wasn’t legal in the first place. Also, your argument would legalize polygamy by allowing a person to hop between states to get married, since according to you states don’t have to recognize the legal proceedings of other states. What a poor defense of traditional marriage you offer, Mr. Brunette.)

                      So if you don’t believe those things you say, then why toss them out at all? Is it to distract from the flaws in your argument? Or is this just your version of the “Some people say” strategy, where you get to toss in comments without ever having to be responsible for them? (See for a clear analysis)

                      Either way, in the long term this will not be a negative for those who voted for marriage equality. Again, Glenn Beck (who I often disagree with) said it simply and accurately, that the idea of government deciding which lawful citizens have rights and which ones don’t is repulsive. It’s as simple as that.

                      Perhaps you’re coming around to that fact, Mr. Brunette. That would be a positive change; however, it is most unfortunate that you offered such brutish behavior in the meantime.

                    • John Brunette May 15, 2013 at 11:20 am

                      Now you want to go back and argue the Voter ID thing again? I guess I struck a nerve. 3 posts because you can’t understand what people say or do as opposed to actions. What grade are you in anyway?

                    • You asked three questions, I posed three answers. It is your own problem that you cannot keep track of your own words, Mr. Brunette, or take responsibility for them.

                      However, my points are straightforward and accurate.

                      First, your revisionist history of your remarks does not match your current claims, based on your own words quoted back to you.

                      Second, I expressed a full understanding of the law that acknowledged not only the current (and soon to be removed) prohibition against issuing licenses for same-sex marriages, but also a constitutional understanding of the failures in DOMA that was supported even by the MSBA and the founders of the Tea Party, which you refuse to address at all.

                      Finally, your “stories” are an avoidance tactic that allows you to present random information that often contradicts the law and known reality. When confronted with that, you abandon the conversation and run away.

                      Again, facts. The proof of that is that you chose not to challenge any of them. If you cannot deal in substance and reality, then please excuse yourself, rather than represent the party with such weakness.

                    • John Brunette May 15, 2013 at 12:14 pm

                      Read this:

                      You will learn something about where I was coming from, you obtuse tool of the left.

                      Life will be better for you with your foot outside of your mouth. Note the “floogle” paragraph. ROTFL at how stupid you have been.

                      BTW. The license thing again. You bufoon. Have you no self respect? I was involved in my “story”. The “perp” was a very close relative of mine. If you would like to meet him and hear the story yourself, your welcome to come to a party in Farmington on Sunday and hear the story first hand. I will not print his name here so as to satisfy your need to be a jackass about irrelevant matters. But if you want to come and meet him and hear the story, just let me know.

                      I’m curious as to whether or not the story your about to read has any bearing with your “boneheadedness”. I doubt that very much, for some reason.

                    • John Brunette May 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

                      Hmmm…. Makes you think. (or some of us anyway)


                      Did you just assume I made all of this up on my own? Why would I?

                    • So, is Glenn Beck a tool of the Left? Are the founders of the Tea Party tools of the Left? What about Scalia and Roberts on the Supreme Court? Or many of the largest businesses in America?

                      You label because you cannot win on merits, and will not allow other conservative ideas to be different than your own. Your totalitarian construct of party and conservatism is a betrayal of those principles. Trying to shift blame does not hide that fact.

                    • As for your friend’s license (or is it a relative… the story changed again), I honestly have little desire to bring him into public scrutiny, assuming he has not repeated the mistake of driving while intoxicated.

                      However, you offered his situation as an example of the law… when it clearly was not. Again, even you said so, by acknowledging that, with decent record-keeping, such a thing would not happen. Again, your own words.

                      And in making your flawed argument, you created a standard that would legalize polygamy. You claimed that part of the plain text of the Constitution doesn’t exist, for all intensive purposes, in a way that would allow people to hop from one state to another, marrying along the way. You cannot offer such nonsense and claim to be defending traditional marriage.

                      When you offer such a flawed premise, you should not be surprised when it is challenged. In doing so, I did not attack your friend/relative in any way; instead, I took 5 minutes, found the actual laws and statutes, and presented hard evidence.

                      That is the difference.

                    • As for your references… first of all, it’s nice to see you actually trying to present some evidence.

                      However, Sean already addressed the flaw in Soroff’s piece, at least as it goes as an argument against marriage equality. While Soroff may find the fight unnecessary and the benefits lacking, others find it crucial and significant.

                      Indeed, there are heterosexuals that believe marriage should not exist, that is is a government intrusion on freedom. However, in our society there are inherent rights attached to marriage, that cannot be replicated through other means. That is the point Sean acknowledged early on as a flaw in offering a secondary substitute (“floogle”, “garriage”, or whatever).

                      For while Minnesota would recognize such a thing, this would create a separate class not recognized elsewhere. As was seen with women’s rights and Jim Crow, such designations lose their power, and fail to protect and provide equality under the law. So what would happen is millions of private and taxpayer dollars would be wasted trying to define the exact nature of this new term, all to no avail, and we’d be exactly where we started. So while it is a novel solution, Mr. Brunette, such a standard always fails.

                      Indeed, Soroff stresses that the inequality and disparate treatment of homosexuals is his pressing issue. Marriage equality, as defined under the civil institution (which is how Sean and I have both defined it in this case), is a step forward. It is the choice of every individual to decide whether or not to participate in such opportunities. Given the dramatic support this receives in the gay community, denying such an opportunity on these grounds cannot be sustained.

                      It should also be noted that Soroff objects to any use of the word marriage, even in the sense of the civil marriage, for same-sex couples. I thought you no longer had that objection, Mr. Brunette, based on your recent remarks, or are you flipping positions again?

                      As for the other article… while its prose is proper, the foundation is still a repetition of a false premise. The same fallacy of connecting marriage equality to polygamy was made to interracial marriages, and with the same lack of credibility, something the author ignores.

                      By the way, I found it interesting that the author completely dismissed the comparison to bestiality as ridiculous and false. Perhaps you will now do the same, Mr. Brunette.

                      Civil marriage in western culture has been defined as between two individuals. The Bible offers a different story, depending on your literal adherence to the Old Testament. However, as stated before, we are focusing solely on the civil definition within the provisions of the Constitution.

                      However, I found the last paragraph of the piece particularly interesting, because it both affirms the right of homosexuals to marriage equality and explains why polygamy is not an issue in play:

                      “We absorb these norms, we learn to embrace them, we thrill to them from the age when we watch our first Disney film. Today, gay men and women want to have their sexual bonding embraced within the same norms, to achieve equality, and that’s their right. But my guess is that the real answer to the conservative question “why not more than two people, then?” is that we will stick to pairs because marriage is a creature of the state and pairs are the form that makes the state strongest. Nobody, though, gays or conservatives, finds this way of thinking about the issue very appealing, so it probably won’t get much play.”

                      Notice the author affirms such equality as their right, while separating it from polygamy. Also worth noting is that the author states “pairs are the form that makes the state strongest.” Between those comments is an affirmation of same-sex marriage, and a rejection of polygamy, all wrapped up nicely.

                      So thank you, Mr. Brunette, for that article. It discredits both your argument on polygamy and bestiality, and affirms the idea of marriage equality as a stabilizing agent of our society. Given that you presented this article, I trust you will not make those false arguments ever again.

                    • John Brunette May 15, 2013 at 4:33 pm

                      See your problem is you can’t track. I even suggested the bestiality thing was crazy, but referred to as the second piece I posted mentioned, when you change one of the parameters, why not all of them. Remember the 3 parameters of existing marriage in MN, gender, quantity and species? Note how that exact same argument is brought up in these two articles I sourced?

                      And your endless nonsense as to where I’ve ever stood on this is retarded at this point. You wouldn’t know where I stood on it ever because you preconceive notions about that points I was making, rather than spend one second recognizing them for what they were.

                      So, now you’re a Tea Party guy? A Glenn Beck fan? Next you’ll be Richard Nixon. Your points on that were stupid. They were brought up because you failed to understand my point that THIS IS THE [profanity deleted – ed.] LAW for Christ’s sake already. Man you are as dense as any man has ever been created. Holy bat [profantiy deleted – ed.]. You are either clinically insane or a third grader. I can’t decide which any more.

                      And I notice you are too chicken [profanity deleted -ed.] to come out to Farmington and meet the license story head on. Typical liberal. The DFL should change their logo to you.

                    • Can we lighten up on the profanity, please? I’ll allow the occasional one here and there, but this blog ain’t a Tarantino movie.

                    • John Brunette May 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

                      Sorry, but this goofball is making my ex-wife look somewhat reasonable. If I were to guess, he had to have grown in the same town or close by to my ex. Based on his goofy tactics, I’d place him as a son of Eastern Iowa. My ex was from Waterloo, and was just as brainwashed and stubbornly obtuse as he is. Maybe Chicago? Definitely not raised around here, I can tell that much. Maybe Alexrod’s illegitimate son?

                    • First of all, Mr. Brunette, I’d have to agree with Sean. Again, if you cannot stick to substance, then you should remove yourself and such behavior from the public sphere.

                      Second, I’d have no objection to meeting this friend/relative; my point, however, was that your reference to him in the first place had no factual basis in law, and actually created a standard that would legalize polygamy. Again, you refuse to address this, and in a way use your friend/relative as a shield to avoid that fact. At no time did I treat him with disrespect; however, I did present irrefutable evidence that dismantled your point. You yourself acknowledged that.

                      You owe your friend/relative an apology for using his situation in such a poor manner, broadcasting it to the public without knowing any of the state or national laws involved, and then using it to create a standard that would actually legalize polygamy. And then hiding behind it, when the question is not whatever he did in the past, but your poor understanding of the law and American society. Again, Mr. Brunette, what a poor example of a friend and conservative you have offered here.

                      As for your bestiality and polygamy argument, perhaps you should have actually read the sources you cited before posting them. They make it clear that neither argument works. While the one author asks the question on polygamy, they later offer a succinct explanation as to why that argument is not viable, nor is it linked to same-sex marriage. And the bestiality argument is dismissed by the author with open disdain, and rightfully so, unlike your repeated references to it (if you didn’t believe in it, then why say it in the first place…). The only way you can deny that fact is if you ignore the entire second half of the article; however, I’m not surprised you would do so. After all, dismissing anything but what you want to hear seems to be the John Brunette way.

                      In fact, the author makes it clear that the only change is a change in thinking, “much as the meaning of phrases like “all men are created equal” changed significantly when they began to be understood to include, say, women.” The author’s own words. Notice the author does not use this as grounds to deny such change, but in fact affirms the pursuit of marriage equality as a right. Too bad you cannot follow this author’s example.

                      Your arguments, however, dwelt in the definition and use of the word “marriage” in any form, and in making the comparisons this article (and many conservatives) reject. Those comparisons have no foundation; unleashing a flood of profanity only further demonstrates the weakness in your standard.

                      And again, you attack and dismiss other conservatives when they cannot be brought to bend their will and voice to yours. The points I brought up from them supported the clear definition of the Constitution and the law I offered, one you continue to lie about in such a dishonorable fashion. So while you continue to offer lies and slander, I quote the members of your own party as evidence to the contrary.

                      Under current law and interpretation, states can refuse to perform same-sex marriages (this will most likely change as 14th Amendment issues come into play); however, denying full faith and credit violates the Constitution, contradicts conservative tenets on the size and role of government, and causes harm to businesses. You refuse to address those facts, and thus discredit any claim you would have to being a valid conservative by failing to consider other conservative perspectives with an open mind.

                      Your “facts” have been discredited. Your own sources state your arguments have no foundation. And you refuse to address any evidence in a professional manner.

                      The term that comes to mind when looking at your behavior is “inoculation”: much like a weakened virus, your arguments are what is shown to the public to encourage a rejection of such standards. While there are valid concerns about societal change and religious rights, your conduct presents a toxic and feeble representation of such concerns, and only drives people away from the party and standard. In that regard, your colleagues would be better off without you and your conduct; it only weakens their cause.

                    • John Brunette May 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm

                      While your wild tangents and extreme misinterpretations are soooooo helpful to the discussion. Please. You still don’t understand one point I’ve made or where it was based. My arguments came from gay men! Have you figured that out yet?

                      It was a fairly prominent gay man that gave me the idea, so dead opposed to gay marriage and turned me on to all of these articles about all of the points I’ve made. Do you get that yet? I’m parroting what gay men are saying about the topic.

                      I put it in my own words, is all. Floogle becomes garriage. One is as off the wall as a name as the other. “Civil marriage” is another differing definition from the current. So whether you choose to call it floogle, or garriage, or orange blossoms, the result is the same. It’s really just a civil union, which is what was proffered early but rejected, a now all marriages are civil unions, or will be in this state.

                      It’s now a matter of semantics. But this “new” definition leaves the old sacrament alone. Which leaves the door open for polygamist opportunities as highlighted in the Economist article and desired as a result by some, who can clearly claim their “rights” are now under assault.

                    • First off, Sean already pointed out that basing laws based on what one neighbor says is a poor approach to making laws.

                      You claimed multiple times that “many” gays and lesbians oppose marriage equality, when the reality is that you’ve found a small sample that do. While that is their right, polling data and the political dialogue makes it clear that this is a minority of that population.

                      Beyond that, the legal issues still remain, in that you are forwarding an unequal standard based on personal preference and opinion, imposed on legal, loving relationships. That is not subject to restriction based on personal opinion.

                      As for the issue with the term “marriage”… you will have to excuse my reluctance to accept your version of history, given the fact that both Sean and I were very clear that our only concern was with marriage as a civil term, a concept which you rejected. Perhaps if you had been open to that perspective, you would have realized that idea far earlier.

                      However, the idea of a “floogle” will only waste taxpayer money, a concept that was already proven and addressed. Sean already noted the flaws in such an idea, and quoted himself when you refused to recognize that this conversation already happened. The idea, while interesting, is not legally viable.

                      As for the articles, they reject many of your claims. If you read the full article (instead of just the pieces you agree with), you will see that even though the author notes other cultures that do support polygamy, they eventually present a clear argument that separates polygamy and shows why that is a non-issue for our society.

                      The author also clearly affirms the right of same-sex couples to pursue marriage equality, and completely separates the issue from polygamy or bestiality, which the author rejects outright.

                      So if you read the full piece, you see a fairly effective affirmation of the position I’ve held all along, that marriage equality for same-sex couples is not linked to polygamy or bestiality. Again, thank you Mr. Brunette for proving my point.


  1. Senate passes marriage equality; Ortman votes no | Brick City Blog - May 13, 2013

    […] Minnesota State Senate today passed the marriage equality bill by a vote of 37-30, following four hours of debate.  State Senator Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) […]

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