Former Representative John Kriesel (R-Cottage Grove), a strong supporter of same-sex marriage in Minnesota, said today he is "very disappointed" by the statements released from Republican presidential candidates in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which legalized same-sex marriages in all 50 states.
"I thought we have moved past it, but clearly there are many who have not," said Kriesel, who served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for one-term from 2011-2013. Kriesel announced in March 2012 he would not seek re-election.
None of the Republican presidential candidates applauded today's ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court and some left open the possibility of continuing the fight against same-sex marriage.
Kriesel was one of only a few Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature in 2011 who voted against allowing a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman to appear on the 2012 ballot. He later campaigned against the amendment, which was ultimately rejected by Minnesota voters.
Kriesel offered his sharpest critique to comments made by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who said the recent rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court have triggered "the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history."
"I question his temperament to serve [as president]," said Kriesel, who served in the Minnesota Army National Guard. Kriesel lost both his legs in 2006 after a roadside bomb exploded while he was stationed in Iraq.
During his brief service in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Kriesel quickly earned a reputation as an outspoken and thoughtful legislator. Star Tribune columnist Jon Tevlin wrote in 2011 that Kriesel "may be the only representative in the Minnesota Legislature who believes two men should be able to marry each other AND shoot someone who trespasses on their property."
Telvin added, "[i]t's one of the things that made [Kriesel] one of this session's more interesting policymakers."
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