Minnesotan Republican pens powerful commentary in favor of marriage

This past weekend, Minnesotan Republican Wheelock Whitney published a powerful opinion editorial in the Star Tribune about his opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban marriages for gay and lesbian couples. He calls the amendment “out of sync” with his “political, professional and personal priorities,” and inconsistent with Republican principles.

The amendment is set to appear on the state ballot in fall 2012, but Whitney is emerging as a leader now in educating constituents about its harms. Whitney was a former contender for the U.S. Senate in 1964 and ran for governor in 1982. As a highly prominent Republican, his focus is on individual rights and limited government regulation. He has already donated $10,000 to the effort to defeat the amendment, and told the Huffington Post that he hopes to convince 15-20 percent of the state’s GOP voters to join him in opposing it by November 2012.

He writes that marriage is deeply important to him and those that he loves, including his children and grandchildren, two of whom happen to be gay. “My marriage has never needed the exclusion of others from marriage. … Far from defending families, this marriage amendment is an attack on my family.”

In Minnesota, state law already restricts marriage to one man and one woman, but that law is subject to court challenges. A constitutional ban would be much harder to reverse. “The good news is that we have the chance to become the first state in the nation to vote down such a proposal,” Whitney says, and points out the significant implications. “We Minnesotans have the chance to pass on a legacy worthy of our history.”

Whitney is a member of the Steering Committee of Minnesotans United for All Families, a coalition dedicated to defeating the amendment. Freedom to Marry is happy to be a leading member of the coalition along with groups like OutFront Minnesota and the Log Cabin Republicans. Defeating the anti-gay amendment is a high priority for us in 2012, and we are committed to devoting the staff time and resources it will take to win.

Join us in taking action against this harmful legislation, and sign the pledge today to vote no on excluding gay and lesbian couples from marriage in Minnesota: ­www.mnunited.org.