Freshman Republican Rep. John Kriesel of Cottage Grove is opposed to allowing Minnesotans to vote on a constitutional marriage amendment, according to the Star Tribune. This is what he told the paper:
"I look at it as: We are all equal. It is not right. I can't do it. I'm very upset about this vote. I don't like it. I think it sends the wrong message. You live once in your life and I've learned that the hard way. You never know when it is going to be your time. People fight to find happiness.... You find someone you love and now other people are saying because I don't consider that normal, you can't do it? It's just wrong. There is not anything that can move me on this."
Yet the issue should not be whether or not Rep. Kriesel supports the amendment. It should be whether he supports the right of Minnesotans to choose their own laws. By opposing an amendment, he is trying to prohibit people from governing themselves.
The proposed amendment has already passed the House Civil Law Committee by a vote of 10 to 7. If it passes the legislature, it will go straight to the ballot in 2012. The governor has no vote on the matter.
Rep. Kriesel, true to his word, may not be easily influenced -- at least not by conservative Republicans. During the 2010 election, he also received the endorsement of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Whether he would be willing to risk losing support from such powerful liberal institutions is doubtful. He has also been championed by the Republican leadership as someone who is the face of the next generation of leadership.
If you would like to contact Rep. Kriesel to voice your opinion, you can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or office phone at 651-296-4172.