Today, committees in both the Minnesota House and Senate are hearing testimony in favor of marriage equality legislation. Among those who spoke before the House Civil Law Committee was Lynne Osterman (R), who served in the state House in 2003–2004 and voted for a constitutional “defense of marriage act” (DOMA) to ban same-sex marriage. In tearful testimony, she expressed her regret for that “politically expedient” vote and implored the current lawmakers not to make the same mistake:
OSTERMAN: I served as a Republican because of my interest in smaller government, and it was incredibly counter-intuitive to me to then upon my arrival tell citizens how the government wanted them to live their lives. I didn’t come to St. Paul to single out same-sex couples and their families, but in my only term as a member I cast a politically expedient vote in favor of DOMA and I have regretted that ever since. It was not in my conscience or my own compass.
Voting no today this session might seem politically expedient, but I can tell you from experience that you will have to live knowing that a “no” vote is not fair, it’s not respectful, and it’s not equal. I blew my vote and I’m imploring you: please get this right. Minnesota citizens just want you to lead.