Why Has the Director of Minnesota’s Chief Anti-Marriage-Equality Group Suddenly Gone Silent on That Issue?

10:20 pm in 2012 election, LGBT, Politics, Religion, Republican Party by Phoenix Woman

Andy Parrish, as seen by Ken Avidor

There has been a lot of verbiage produced by those who would keep couples of the same gender from marrying, verbiage that all too often is comical and horrifying at the same time — a recent example being former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey’s unbelievable and grotesque statement claiming that anti-gay and anti-marriage-equality persons like himself were victims like Jews in Nazi Germany. (Considering that gays were singled out for especially brutal treatment by the Nazis, something that Lord Carey as an educated person should know better than many, this is particularly vile of him.) [UPDATE: Turns out the quote being bandied about from Lord Carey is only a portion of the full quote, which is in fact anti-bigotry: [Lord Carey] rejected suggestions that the true “bigots” were those who advocated gay marriage and would not listen to legitimate concerns of religious groups who disagreed.

“Let’s have a sensible debate about this, not call people names,” he said. “Let’s remember that the Jews in Nazi Germany, what started it all against them was when they started being called names. That was the first stage towards that totalitarian state.”]

In Minnesota in particular, where the anti-equality forces have got their pet Republican legislators to put an amendment on the ballot that would embed anti-equality laws into the state’s constitution, there has been a lot of verbiage. So much, in fact, that when a key producer of that verbiage suddenly falls silent on that issue, it draws attention.

The director and a key spokesperson for the anti-equality group “Minnesotans for Marriage” is Andy Parrish, a longtime Republican operative with close ties to Michele Bachmann and other persons in the Theocon wing of the Republican Party of Minnesota. He used to use his Twitter account all the time to push M4M and the anti-equality cause. That is, he did until he suddenly stopped nearly two weeks ago. As Bluestem Prairie’s Sally Jo Sorensen notes:

As deputy campaign director of Minnesota for Marriage (M4M), Republican political operative Andy Parrish has never been shy about tweeting and Facebooking about the marriage restriction amendment.

Until October 2.

Since then, his tweets and Facebook page have been nearly all A Stronger Minnesota, the new political committee that’s supposed to be the conservative answer to A Better Minnesota. We count three M4M-related posts out of over fifty tweets and retweets, as well as only A Stronger Minnesota material on his Facebook page.

Sorensen goes on to note that Parrish has also vanished from press accounts of M4M, and apparently even failed to attend a key M4M event hosted last Monday. Yet he is still drawing his director’s pay, as far as anyone knows, to the tune of $5,000 every two weeks, per the 42nd Day report filed with the Minnesota State Campaign Finance Board.

Why the sudden silence on what is currently one of the two hottest political questions in Minnesota politics? As Sorensen points out, it’s hard to imagine that Parrish’s new role at “A Stronger Minnesota” would take up so much time that it would prevent him from being a very vocal M4M director, being that ASM is only involved in four legislative races this cycle.

Other people will no doubt have different takes on this, but the only interpretation that makes sense to me has as its basis the fact that the anti-equality amendment is slipping below 50% in the polls. Being that amendments to the state constitution need at least 50% of the vote to pass, anything less than that is a defeat for the amendment, and speaking strictly for myself, I would presume that a longtime political operative like Andy Parrish would know this — and also know when to stop wasting time on a lost (albeit personally lucrative) cause and start working on something else. If anyone has a better explanation, I’d like to hear it.