Thursday, July 11, 2013

Republican Lynne Osterman Regrets Her Vote For DOMA

Former Republican Minnesota state legislator member Lynne Osterman admitted she voted for the Defense of Marriage Act for "politically expedient" reasons. Osterman tearfully told Minnesota legislators that she regrets her vote. Osterman asked that Minnesota elected officials voted to make gay marriage legal.

I served as a Republican because of my interest in smaller government. And it was incredibly counter-intuitive to me to then upon my arrival, tell citizens how the government wanted them to live their lives. I didn’t’ come to St. Paul to single out same-sex couples and their families. But in my only term as a member…..[long pause, tearing up] I cast a politically expedient vote in favor of DOMA and I have regretted that ever since…

Nothing in my life says it’s OK to treat people differently than how I would want to be treated— fairly, respectfully, equally. And that’s really what this conversation is about. Whether you believe in big government or small, do you believe in fair, respectful, equal? Is it ever OK to say “well, except for those people”? …

I blew my vote. And I’m imploring you, please get this right. Minnesota citizens just want you to lead.

Gay marriage became legal in Minnesota in May. I had a Twitter discussion with Litbrit about President George W. Bush's evolving position on gay marriage. Litbrit feels Bush doesn't deserve a pass. I'm not interested in pardoning Bush. However, I never believed Bush and Karl Rove cared about the Christian Right. In fact, there is evidence they looked at Christian conservatives with disdain. Bush and Rove were cynically willing to use gay marriage as a wedge issue. Lynne Osterman is guilty of the same thing.

We need elected Republicans to support gay marriage and abortion rights. The truth is the majority of so-called religious leaders that pressure Republicans on social issues have nearly nonexistent followings. Locas Christian Right activists, such as Terry Kemple and David Caton, literally run one man operations. These people aren't that powerful. Republicans have pandered to Christian Right activists because the GOP can't run on income inequality. Mitt Romney is proof of that.

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