At my office, our HR director had all the employees do the Clifton StrenthFinder project. My top strength is “Includer.” An include is described as:
“You want to include people and make them feel part of the group. In direct contrast to those who are drawn only to exclusive groups, you actively avoid those groups that exclude others. You want to expand the group so that as many people as possible can benefit from its support. You hate the sight of someone on the outside looking in. You want to draw them in so that they can feel the warmth of the group. You are an instinctively accepting person. Regardless of race or sex or nationality or personality or faith, you cast few judgments. Judgments can hurt a person’s feelings. Why do that if you don’t have to? Your accepting nature does not necessarily rest on a belief that each of us is different and that one should respect these differences. Rather, it rests on your conviction that fundamentally we are all the same. We are all equally important. Thus, no one should be ignored. Each of us should be included. It is the least we all deserve.”
If that is true about me, is it any wonder that I believe it is horrible for government to discriminate against gay couples who are lawfully excluded from obtaining the same benefits through committing to each other that straight couples have?
That is why I am very happy today’s vote by the state Senate was a vote for equality in marriage. Everybody who wants to marry, can be included.
A lot of people in my district were surprised when Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) voted to support the law in the state House. I actually wasn’t. I’ve been following Pat Garofalo for years, and I don’t believe he was against gay marriage when he voted to put the amendment on the ballot in 2012. I just don’t think he had the political guts to stand up the way John Kriesel did. And I called him out on that before the vote, urging him to vote what he believed, not what was good for him politically.
This time he voted for freedom, and I thank Rep. Garofalo. And well I commend him, I am proud that the Minnesota DFL took the initiative to tackle this subject despite the impending threat by Republicans that this will divide the state like nothing since the Civil War. That is absurd! Anybody who follows politics today knows that topics no longer hold for more than a few months. Where was the TEA Party in 2012? Divisive issues holding for decades are a piece of history in politics. People care about right now almost exclusively, and let’s face it, very few of us are going to be affected by gay marriages, other than a lot of people are going to be buying a bunch of wedding gifts soon.
This will pass and be a nonfactor in 2014. Sure Republicans will try to use it as an issue, and I certainly hope they do, because it will carry very little weight? I’m sure Rep. Garofalo will have a challenger, but really what’s the point? He simply voted to let people make their own life choices without government limiting their abilities to do so. Isn’t that what conservatives want? That idea of letting people “make their own life choices” is why I find it funny that Sen. Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) who regularly uses the term “nanny state” to describe Minnesota laws, voted to let our Minnesota government continue to make the decision for citizens about who they can or cannot marry. Do you agree that is hypocritical?
As Sen. Thompson and his nanny state hypocrisy embarks on a run to try and defeat Gov. Mark Dayton, I am thankful that Gov. Dayton also supports this legislation, and that two of the three people who represent me in State government said yes to this bill giving people more freedom. Thank you Gov. Dayton and Rep. Garofalo! Hopefully Sen. Thompson will make a better choice next time when he is forced to choose between what he says he believes, and what he believes will work best for him on the floor of the Republican State Convention.