As a staunch, conservative Republican in my mid-20s, I want to recognize the courage of Rep. Jenifer Loon in her vote for marriage equality. I’m proud to call her my representative in St Paul.
Two years ago, the Legislature placed an amendment to the state’s Constitution on the ballot that would have limited marriage to one man and one woman. The fallout from that shortsighted move was significant. Republicans were trounced that November, giving the governor and his DFL allies unchecked power to raises taxes and spending.
That momentum fueled the debate over the current marriage equality act. The wave could continue for many years by turning off a whole generation of overwhelmingly pro-equality young Minnesotans. Many young Minnesotans share Republican values of limited government. I fear they’ll never give Republicans a chance without more leaders with the foresight of Rep. Loon. It may take us a generation to heal the damage done by this DFL majority. We can’t afford to waste time getting started.
Our district’s vote soundly defeating the constitutional amendment was a wake-up call to my fellow Republicans. Rep. Loon’s vote showed she listened to her constituents and understood their call loud and clear.
Most important of all, Rep. Loon’s vote was simply the right thing to do. There is no doubt in my mind that gay Americans ought to and will have the right to marry. Last Thursday, Rep. Loon stood for bringing us closer to that promise.