Young Republican speaks out against Minnesota’s proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment

By Jamie Thilman, Freedom to Marry's Communications Intern 

Recently, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance a measure that would put the freedom to marry on the ballot in 2012. In an effort to exclude same-sex couples from marriage by amending Minnesota's Constitution, the Committee voted along party lines after much emotional testimony from Minnesota voters. Yet, in her statement before the Committee, Madeline Koch offered a glimmer of hope. "I don't believe the rights for same-sex couples --or anyone-- is a partisan issue," she said at a packed hearing held at the Statehouse. A bright young Republican, Ms. Koch's brief statement speaks volumes about our future as a nation as she eloquently reminded the panel that, "the full acceptance of GLBT people is something Minnesota's next generation of leaders have already embraced." A powerful statement, it also reminds us that, as Americans, there is more that unites us than divides us. Raising her voice in a testimony that differed from others that day, Ms. Koch believes in the freedom to marry not because she has a gay brother, sister, or many gay friends, but rather, she is driven by a simple ideology that calls for equal protection of all Minnesotans. It is time for Republicans to take a cue from the next generation of leaders.