As Republican legislators moved single-file into the Minnesota House just before noon, hundreds of protesters Saturday lined the hallway on both sides and loudly chanted “Just Vote No!” against the gay marriage ban amendment.
State troopers lined the hallway, making sure the legislators had enough room to move through. There was no indication Saturday that the House would vote on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
At one point, Taina Maki of Minneapolis stuck out her hand and House Speaker Kurt Zellers paused briefly to shake it amid the deafening noise. “I just wanted him to look me in the eye, and acknowledge me as a human being,” said Maki, who held up a rainbow-colored map of the state of Minnesota.
“I want him to see what I am – just look me in the eye,” she said.
Zellers then touched the elbow of a state trooper and told him “thank you”, as the crowd seemed to get louder.
The loudest cheers meanwhile came for Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, who has said he will break with his Republican House colleagues on the issue and vote against the proposed amendment. Kriesel, walking with a cane slowly through the crowd, nodded to them without smiling.
“I’m upset at what’s happening in our state,” said Judy Finger of Apple Valley, who watched the Republican legislators file by. “I expect it will pass. I hope not, but I think it will.”
The crowd meanwhile chanted “Hey-Hey-Ho-Ho, Bigotry Has Got To Go.”
More from Star Tribune
More From Hot Dish Politics
GOP Party Chairman Keith Downey released a letter to a party committee questioning the judgment and competency of Deputy Chairman Chris Fields just days ahead of the election for party officers in St. Cloud Saturday.
Gov. Mark Dayton said that if the Legislature passes a 'satisfactory' transportation budget bill without a gas tax, he would be inclined to sign it into law.
Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly criticized GOP budget proposals from the House and Senate, which aim to cut millions from her department.
Lawmakers from minority groups try to unify, focus their message.
Hire indicates Nolan may be serious.