A 2012 ballot question that aims to ban gay marriage via the state constitution has now been approved by both the Minnesota House and Senate, in a mighty demonstration of how lawmakers really know how to prioritize our problems.
All that pesky second-tier legislative work, like job creation and budget balancing, definitely needed to be pushed aside in favor of mission-critical work -- supported by Bradlee Dean -- that seeks to ban something that's already banned.
But Republican Rep. John Kreisel had other priorities.[jump]
Kreisel, a true patriot, fought in the Iraq war. And he told his colleagues before they voted on Saturday that fighting to deprive certain Americans of their rights was not what he had in mind when he signed on the dotted line to defend and possibly die for his country.
"If this was 5, 6 years ago, I probably would have voted 'yes,' because I didn't think about it. I just thought about my family. I thought about what affects my wife and kids and nothing else," Kriesel said. Everything changed. I went to Iraq. I was in an incident. I nearly died. I remember laying there, looking down and seeing my legs mangled, and pretty much guaranteeing that I was done. I was a done deal. I thought that was where my life was going to end. And I remember thinking of my wife and my kids. That's what crossed my mind. And that's what kept me fighting; the love I have for them."
"It woke me up. It changed me," Kriesel said. "Because of that, it's made me think about this issue and say, 'You know what, what would I do without my wife?' She makes me happy. Life is hard. We're in a really tough time in our history. Happiness is so, so hard to find for people. So they find it, they find someone that makes them happy, and we want to take that person away. We want to say, 'Oh no, you can be together, you can love that person, but you can't marry them.' You can't marry them. That's wrong."
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