Pro-gay Marriage Group Promises To Help Minnesota Candidates

By Don Davis

The main group promoting Minnesota gay marriage for the last two years has announced another 10 state lawmakers it will financially support because their pro-gay marriage votes could put them in political jeopardy.

The rural and suburban lawmakers, added to five earlier announced, will get a boost from Minnesotans United political action committee.

“We’re so proud of the diverse, bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers who did the right thing this year by casting a historic vote in favor of the freedom to marry,” the PAC wrote to supporters. “But we also know that this was a tough vote for many of our legislators, and they need to know that we’ve got their back.”

In the meantime, some Republicans who opposed gay marriage now are backing away, saying they will not get involved in the issue.

“The people have spoken,” state Rep. Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove said Sunday when he announced he was running for governor.

When state Sen. Dave Thompson of Maple Grove announced Wednesday that he was running for governor, he said: “I’m not interested in focusing on those type of issues.”

All of those the gay-marriage group will help voted in favor of gay marriage in May, making it legal beginning in August, but live in areas opposed to same-sex couples getting married.

The newly added lawmakers are Reps. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd; Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington; Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth; Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie; Jay McNamar, DFL-Elbow Lake; Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township; Andrea Kieffer, R-Woodbury; Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock; and David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville; and Sen. Branden Peterson, R-Andover.

Earlier in June, the group announced it would help five other Democratic lawmakers: Joe Radinovich of Crosby, Shannon Savick of Wells, Roger Erickson of Baudette, Tim Faust of Hinckley and John Persell of Bemidji.