The Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday striking down restrictions on federal benefits for legally-married gay couples elicited impassioned reactions from some members of the Minnesota congressional delegation, and nothing from others.
Republican Michele Bachmann offered the strongest statement, suggesting the high court cannot undo what has been instituted by “the hand of God.” (To which House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi responded, “Who cares?” – see video below).
Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken issued statements praising the decision, as did Democratic Reps. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison, and Rick Nolan.
By close of business Wednesday, Democrat Betty McCollum had just issued a statement in praise of the decision.
But the issue could be more difficult for three others in the delegation who ducked the issue on Wednesday: Republicans John Kline and Erik Paulsen and Democrat Collin Peterson.
Kline, who supports the Defense of Marriage Act, represents a district where slightly less than half (46 percent) of the voters supported a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage. Paulsen, whose office did not respond to a request for comment, represents a district where only 43 percent of voters supported the ban on gay marriage. Peterson, on the other hand, is a Democrat representing a district that went 63 percent in favor of the gay marriage ban.
Walz and Nolan also represent rural districts that went for the ban, though by smaller 54 percent margins apiece. Their statements might come closer to being profiles in courage.