There are dozens of committees and subcommittees as well as hundreds of speakers consuming thousands of legislative hours at the state capitol this legislative session. Nearly all of it is captured on film, with much of it streamed online on The UpTake website.
With all the action, breaking through the capitol cacophony – let alone the cultural clutter in today’s media – is rare. When it does happen, it’s all too often due to a legislator saying something inflammatory, or inane, or both.
Yet in a measured, calm tone, testimony from Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, about a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota, has made a splash nationally.
“Hero Minnesota Congressmen (sic) Delivers Great New Slogan for Gay Equality,” read the headline on the popular website Gawker.com, which is usually known more for snark than civics.
Gawker was referring to a portion of Simon’s testimony that drew applause from the gallery: “How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?”
By Wednesday morning his testimony had been watched by over 26,100 people on Gawker.com, and on YouTube the video had more than 86,500 views.
Which goes to show that even in today’s showboat society a quietly expressed idea can still make meaningful noise.