Shortly after Minnesota pushed one step closer toward marriage equality, a Republican representative has called being gay a choice and a “sexual addiction.”
Glenn Gruenhagen said that he would continue to oppose the rights of LGBT to marry because he believes it to be unnatural.
Other spoke out, however, on their support for full rights to the LGBT community. DFL Senator Scott Dibble said the bill “would simply allow folks who so desire, who have demonstrated a lifetime of love and commitment, to get married, even if they’re a same-sex couple.”
Gruenhagen on Wednesday, in a Star Tribune report, argued that LGBT people did not deserve the same rights.
“It’s an unhealthy, sexual addiction,” the Republican lawmaker stated.
“When we’re talking about gay marriage, we’re not talking about an immutable characteristic, like the color of your skin. The human genome map was completed in 2003, there is no gay gene, okay? So, the concept that you’re born that way and that it’s an immutable characteristic is an unscientific lie.”
“The facts are in on that,” he added. “That’s not really disputable, and to continue to report that people are born that way simply does not line up with repeatable, observable scientific facts.”
Either way, Minnesota looks ready to push forward on a marriage equality bill that could deliver equal rights to all their citizens.
Dribble, who is also a co-author of the bill, said he hopes to “allow folks who so desire who have demonstrated the lifetime of love and commitment to get married, even if they are a same sex couple.”
Republican Senator Branden Peterson, the only member of his party co-sponsoring the legislation, was not in attendance. However, he did issue a statement expressing strong support.
“As a strong proponent of limited government, conservative principles and individual liberty, I am proud to add my name as co-author of legislation to secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Minnesota,” he said.
Peterson also recently told 429 Magazine “we can strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing all Minnesotans the freedom to participate in it and pursue happiness, free from government roadblocks. Now is the time to do the right thing.”
To protect religious freedom, the bill would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, but does not force religious leaders to wed them. Religious groups that accept same-sex unions could still perform ceremonies, however.
** Sanders Deionne contributed to this report.