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Video: Young, straight Republican urges Minnesota Senate not to put gay marriage ban prop on ballot

While politicians and religious leaders have been outspoken on Republican efforts to put a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage on the ballot next year, Friday’s Senate committee hearing included a little-heard-from voice: that of a young, straight, Republican woman who opposes the measure.

In testimony lasting under three minutes, Madeline Koch, 24, identifies herself as both Republican and straight before acknowledging that up until three years ago she’d never had a gay friend. But her opposition to the measure, she said, is ideological — focused on future generations — instead of personal or partisan.

An excerpt of her testimony, which appears below:

…I’m driven by something else, an ideology, one encouraged by my peers, that tells me this is not the direction our state or our nation should be headed. In fact, amongst my generation, there’s no doubt that equal rights for all Minnesotans is absolutely necessary for the good of our state. In other words, it should not be the focus of efforts to achieve political gain or debate. The need for equality and the full acceptance of GLBT people is something Minnesota’s next generation of leaders has already embraced. Public opinion is moving quickly toward full equality, and passage of this bill would lead us astray.

Never before has our constitution sought to treat people unequally. This constitutional amendment will not only set our fight for equality back in time, it will set an agenda that will distract us from the investments in Minnesota that truly matter.

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