Republicans in Minnesota’s Senate have a new leader, but no change of heart when it comes to gay marriage. The newly elected Senate Majority Leader rejected Governor Mark Dayton’s request to remove an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment from the 2012 general election ballot.
“Oh we didn’t get into that,” said Senjem, referring to the 11-hour closed door debate among Republican Senators that preceded his election. “It’s way too early to talk about that. No I think this caucus and certainly the House is on record on that and in my mind that’s in the well and I don’t think we’re ready to consider that right now.”
Senator Senjem replaces former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, who resigned her post after having “inappropriate relations” with a male senate staffer. Governor Mark Dayton suggests that Koch’s affair at the same time she was working to pass the anti-gay marriage amendment in the Senate was hypocritical.
“I think it underscores that sanctity of marriage is important to most Minnesotans and people who are in same-sex relationships believe in that sanctity also and want a chance to participate in the sanctity in the same way as heterosexual couples,” Dayton told Minnesota Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
“I will say, before you take out the speck in your neighbor’s eye, take the log out of your own eye. Somebody whose conduct doesn’t measure up to what they’re professing to believe in or prescribing for others, then they should be called on that,” said Dayton.
Governor Dayton reacts to Senjem’s election
Governor Dayton issued a statement shortly after Senator Senjem’s election:
“I have placed a telephone call to Senator David Senjem, to congratulate him on his election as the Senate’s new Majority Leader. I look forward to a constructive working relationship with him on behalf of the people of Minnesota.”