Lynne Osterman who was elected as a Republican to the Minnesota legislature says [she] regrets casting a "political expedient" vote for Minnesota's "Defense of Marriage" law that outlawed same-sex marriage. She tears up when talking about it and urges Minnesota lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage.
Full transcript below.
I'm Lynne Osterman from New Hope and I thank you sincerely for the opportunity to be part of this discussion. When I was a sophomore in college I set the goal to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives. And when I got here, thinking I was going to be a thoughtful citizen legislator, I was ill-prepared for the partisanship that greeted my class. The chair's class of 2002.
I served as a Republican because of my interest in smaller government. And it was incredibly counter-intuitive to me to then upon my arrival, tell citizens how the government wanted them to live their lives. I didn't' come to St. Paul to single out same-sex couples and their families. But in my only term as a member.....
.... I cast a politically expedient vote in favor of DOMA and I have regretted that ever since.
It was not in my conscience or my own compass.
My dad is a retired Presbyterian minister. In fact, he served the congregation that Reverend Chadwick now serves. I've heard lots of bible-based sermons over the years. And never once did I hear that someone else's love was somehow lesser than the love between my parents of now 55 years. My husband of almost 26 years and I have established and demonstrated our decision making priorities with our two children, stressing people are more important. It's never been "well, except for those people."
Nothing in my life says it's OK to treat people differently than how I would want to be treated— fairly, respectfully, equally. And that's really what this conversation is about. Whether you believe in big government or small, do you believe in fair, respectful, equal? Is it ever OK to say "well, except for those people?"
I feel like I'm at the Oscars, I see the red sign.
Lawmakers before us—you— all over this nation have had conversations about equality, respectability and fairness. We've all taken our history classes and could come up with our own list of instances. What were the polls like for those issues? Was everyone ready when our elected officials took the reigns and led our community, state and nation so those laws were changed?
Voting no today, this session, might seem politically expedient. But I can tell you from experience that you will have to live knowing that a no vote is not fair, it's not respectful and it's not equal.
I blew my vote. And I'm imploring you, please get this right. Minnesota citizens just want you to lead.