Republican Rep. Tim Kelly is helping craft the strategy to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the state. The Red Wing state lawmaker is serving on the steering committee for Minnesotans United for All Families.
In an interview Tuesday, Kelly said he is believes the best way to defeat the amendment is to make the argument that it would lead to government intrusion in people's personal lives.
"In order to get the message out in a bipartisan way, it can't just be about the issue (of gay rights)," he said. "We have to reach the people who believe government shouldn't be interfering in our lives, which generally speaking is our camp. It's generally more of a conservative stance."
Kelly is joined by one other GOP lawmaker, Rep. John Kriesel of Cottage Grove. Both lawmakers gave impassioned speeches on the House floor against the proposed amendment.
The Red Wing lawmaker said some people on the steering committee may not want to hear his advice because of concerns about "de-gaying" the issue. Kelly said he understands those concerns but he believes in order to defeat this amendment opponents need to avoid getting "all emotional and hard core into principles about how you personally feel about marriage."
Kelly said he has always believed that the question of gay marriage is a religious issue — not a government issue. His position against the amendment puts him at odds with the majority of his party. He even offered to resign his House leadership position, but Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers said that was not necessary.
Here is a link to Kelly's speech on the House floor against the amendment.
(h/t Briana Bierschbach with Politics in Minnesota)