Friday, May 20, 2011

What a Man!

Previous installments of The Wild Reed's "What a Man!" series have featured famous straight male athletes speaking out for LGBT rights. Tonight's installment, however, highlights a straight male Republican legislator who's taking a bold stand against his own party by saying "Hell, no!" to the proposed marriage amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution. This amendment would ban civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. Yes, it's State Representative John Kriesel.

Following is an excerpt from Pat Kessler's WCCO-TV profile of Kriesel.


A constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is one step away from landing on Minnesota’s 2012 election ballot. But a Republican state representative is bucking his party to stop it.

“I’m an absolute, firm no. I’ll vote to do whatever I can to defeat it in any way, shape or form,” said State Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove.

He said his party is wrong to interfere in the private lives of Minnesotans.

Kriesel is a war hero and a freshman Republican state representative. Now his GOP colleagues are discovering Kriesel is also unpredictable.

He is breaking ranks from Republicans to vote against a ban on gay marriage. Outspoken on Twitter, Kriesel is not just saying no, he’s saying “Hell No.”

“You live once in your life and so if someone finds someone they love and they’re happy with them, why are we trying to take that away? That’s not what government should be doing,” he said.

Kriesel’s aggressive stand against a gay marriage ban came on the same day a Republican House Committee approved it amid protest, anger and tears.

The freshman lawmaker from Cottage Grove said he’s not worried about political repercussions for bucking his party’s anti-gay marriage stand. It’s because of perspective he earned while serving in Iraq.

“I’ve learned the hard way how precious life is,” said Kriesel.

In Iraq, two of Kriesel’s fellow soldiers died in a bomb blast. Both his legs were blown off. He said that experience changed him to understand what matters.

“I love my wife more than anything. I couldn’t imagine my life without her. She makes me happy. I could not ever live with myself to vote to take that away from someone else,” Kriesel said.

To read Pat Kessler's article "GOP Rep. Kriesel Votes Against Gay Marriage Ban" in its entirety, click here.

Recommended Off-site Link:
GOP's Kriesel, Catholic Priest Tussle Over Gay Marriage Amendment – Andy Birkey (The Minnesota Independent, May 11, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
What a Man! – Ben Cohen
What a Man! – Sean Avery
What a Man! – Hudson Taylor

No comments: