Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pawlenty: Straights’ Marriage Rights Should Be “Elevated” Above Gays’

At the Iowa State Fair, Rep. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) was challenged by a gay man named Gabe regarding the Republican presidential candidate’s active stand against marriage equality. Gabe asked Pawlenty why he supports policies that treat gays like second class citizens–and pointed out how his stance contradicts small-government conservatism and makes a negative impact on real lives. Pawlenty’s answer was completely inadequate: marriage between man and a woman “should remain elevated” legally. So straight couples’ rights should be legally “elevated” above that of gays. Sounds like discrimination to me. Watch:

Gabe: “I want to address one concern of mine and that is you have not had the courage to stand for me and my friends. As a member of the GLBT community, you have not stood for us and that is really hard for me. As someone who supports the [anti-gay] National Organization for Marriage, someone that stands with the definition of marriage between one man and one woman, I thought our country was about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone. No exceptions. So, Tim Pawlenty, I want to know, when will you stand up for me? That is what I want to know from you today because you are discriminating against me and it hurts. It really does.”
Pawlenty: “…I understand we have a difference of opinion on this issue… The relationship between a man and a woman in a traditional marriage is important to our country, our society, our culture. I think it should remain elevated, not just in our words but under our laws. And that’s why I have supported laws — in fact, have authored laws — to maintain marriage as between a man and woman.”
Gabe: “I support that you have your moral values. But that is something that is hurting my future and how I get to live my life. And that is something that’s odd, someone that talks about government that gets out of your lives, why does government get involved in our marriages?”
Pawlenty: “…We’re just going to have a respectful disagreement.”
Gabe: “Do you think I’m a second class citizen?”
Pawlenty: “We’re just going to have a respectful disagreement, sir.”

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