What’s more important than gay marriage? English as the state language


by Andy Birkeiy | February 25, 2009 • A statement by state Sen. Paul Koering raised eyebrows two weeks ago when the gay Republican indicated he would vote against the Marriage and Family Protection Act, a bill to make Minnesota’s marriage laws gender neutral, allowing same-sex couples to take advantage of the benefits of marriage. His excuse? The state faces more pressing issues.

Andy Birkey lives in Minneapolis. He is an LGBT community advocate and blogs on politcial, social, and community issues. Read his blog at Eleventh Avenue South

But some of Koering’s proposals this session have been characterized as less than pressing.

Koering is the lead author of a bill to make english the official language of Minnesota, an issue that is often controversial. Minnesota, whose motto is the french “L’etoile du Nord,” and whose name is derived from the Dakota language, certainly has a heritage rooted in many languages.

Another bill, SR15, honors the life of Mary J. Brenny. As humor blogger Jesus’ General put it, “She owned both her town’s ambulance service and mortuary, thus providing one stop service to the good citizens of Morrison County. You have to honor that kind of service.”

Koering has not responded to a request for more information on his position on the Marriage and Family Protection Act.