Posted: 07/13/13 14:19
by Dave Mindeman
At MinnPost, Cyndy Brucato featured Rep. Pat Garofalo and his new found fame as a Republican who voted for same-sex marriage.
Apparently we are supposed to be "impressed" with Pat Garofalo's "courage".
Sorry, I'm not.
Garofalo may have been one of four House Republicans that voted for allowing same-sex marriage in Minnesota, but it wasn't because of some grandiose enlightenment on policy.
Garofalo gives us his opinion.
"My vote was in defense of religious freedom and religious liberty," he said. "Anybody knows that same-sex marriage is the direction our country is moving. People are thankful that we got religious freedom protection [an amendment sponsored by GOP Rep. David FitzSimmons] put into the bill."
The Fitzsimmons amendment clarified a marriage definition:
The amendment would insert the word "civil" in front of "marriage" in order to underscore that what state law sanctions is a civil, not a religious, designation, Rep. David FitzSimmons, R-Albertville, said.
In other words, Garofalo still believes that same-sex marriage is not a real marriage in the religious sense and the only way he could vote for it was to make sure that that distinction was set in law.
"we got religious freedom protection."...... says Garofalo.
Most people consider the Fitzsimmons amendment a minor clarification that appeases religious objections.
For Garofalo, it was the ONLY way he could have supported the bill.
But Garofalo now basks in the odd limbo land of support from Republicans and gay rights supporters. In actual fact, Garofalo is deserving of support from neither.
Garofalo is proud of his extremist connection to ALEC...
Garofalo say's he is prepared for any challenger that tries to outflank him on the right, noting that he's the Minnesota chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative think tank that produces model legislation for state legislatures and is scorned by Democrats and liberals.
He is anti-union (especially teachers), anti-welfare, anti-government worker, pro-gun, pro-voter ID, anti-choice....and quite frankly, outside of this one vote for same sex marriage based solely on religion, he has been anti-same sex marriage. In fact, just a few days before the vote (before the Fitzsimmons amendment) he stated publicly he would vote against it.
Pat Garofalo has a "smart mouth" style....as exemplified by his recent Twitter musings with a liberal blogger. He has a quick temper as he has demonstrated on the floor of the House on repeated occasions. And he condescends with people he disagrees with.
He is more libertarian than Republican. More right wing than compromiser. More zealot than gay rights supporter. And just more belligerent than rational legislator.
Maybe Rep. Pat Garofalo has found support nirvana from both Republican activists and gay rights supporters. But give him time, he will soon find ways to piss off both factions.