You would think, in an era where Gallup Polls show that a majority of Americans favor marriage equality, the Republicans would, maybe work on jobs and budget bills instead of trying to fan anti-gay bigotry flames.
You would, but the Republican Party of Minnesota has different ideas.
First off, they push a piece of anti-marriage-equality legislation intended to serve as a get-out-the-vote mechanism for the bigots that make up their base voters — a piece of legislation so vile at least two Republican House members, John Kriesel of Cottage Grove and Tim Kelly of Red Wing, refuse to vote for it. Then, they invite infamous anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-pretty-much-everything “preacher” Bradlee Dean (real name Bradley Dean Smith) to serve as House Chaplain for the day earlier today:
Whose bright idea was this? No Republican’s dared step forward yet to admit to it, but freshman State GOP Representative Ernie Leidiger (R-Mayer) did the invitation, according to Minnesota Public Radio’s Tom Scheck. Betcha he’s not allowed to have any more bright ideas for the next two years, if ever again. [UPDATE: It's now been confirmed that Leidiger was the person who invited Dean to make the invocatory prayer.]
As for Bradlee Dean himself, his stock has dropped quite a bit by his giving the Minnesota GOP’s homophobic game away in such a blatant fashion; freshman Republican senator Paul Gazelka, who was an honored guest on Bradlee Dean’s radio show a few weeks ago, moved to keep Dean from appearing at a subsequent Capitol press conference today. (Irony: The man Gazelka succeeded, by defeating in a primary election before going on to win in the general election, is none other than Paul Koering, who was marked for liquidation by the local religio-bigot right-wing when he came out as a gay man.) When even Kurt Zellers (he who is wrong on professorial pay) realizes that this is a stupid move — and I note that it was Zellers and not Matt Dean (who you may remember from his first appearance in these webpages two weeks ago) who had the presence of mind to immediately apologize for the incident — you know it’s a stupid move. Too bad this didn’t happen a few days earlier, or Nick Espinosa could have glitter-bombed Bradlee Dean, along with Newt Gingrich.
Even better: Bradlee Dean’s decompensating in front of the Minnesota House’s TV cameras has managed to delay, if not outright halt, the further progress of the piece of anti-gay right-wing get-out-the-vote legislation that Kurt Zellers and the other Capitol Republicans had intended to have passed today. Zellers still claims to have the votes to pass it, but not many people believe him on this at this point.