During small Minn. town vote, council member calls gays ‘weird little group’
The Inver Grove Heights City Council rejected an ordinance Monday that would have established a domestic partner registry in the city, with one council member railing against the moral decline of America and referring to the LGBT community as a “weird little group.”
The council voted 4-1 against the measure with only council member Rosemary Piekarski Krech voting in support.
Council Member Dennis Madden, however, was livid that the council even brought the measure up for a vote.
Madden railed against gay and lesbian couples and said efforts to pass the domestic registry were tied to the anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in 2012.
“I feel it’s a step in the direction of going along with the referendum, marriages that are other than man and wife marriage, man-woman marriages,” Madden said during the hearing. “I’m getting a little tired of seeing the standards and morals of this country going down the tubes and the political correctness that’s allowed and I think it’s a disgrace to our community, our state and our country.”
Madden said the country should return to the values on which he said it was founded.
“I’m tired of these weird little groups that do all these strange things. I’m fed up with that,” Madden said. “Whatever you do in your private life is your business, but don’t ask me to come along and approve it.”
Phil Duran of Outfront Minnesota spoke about how residents of other cities have already benefited from registries. He gave the example of a Rochester health club that was able to save couples who cannot marry $500 a year if they registered with the city.
The Rev. Obi Ballinger who pastors a church just across the river from Inver Grove Heights spoke in favor of the measure saying he has members of his church who could benefit.
“You have a chance to make it clear that all families are welcomed here,” Ballinger said. “A domestic partner registry can send a clear signal that no matter who you are or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcomed in Inver Grove Heights.
Bill Kostner opposed the ordinance. He told the council he came to “look the five of you in the eye.”
“What are you doing getting involved in a moral issue?” Kostner said. “This issue has nothing to do with the growth of Inver Grove Heights, its fiscal base, the safety of the community for its citizens, the improvement of the roads or water system and how about keeping taxes down?”
He added, “I don’t really understand how and why you would want to get involved in a moral issue that is probably going to get resolved next year with a constitutional amendment.”