Rural DFL senator will vote to legalize same-sex marriage

A state senator from rural Minnesota says he intends to vote for a bill that legalizes same-sex marriage.

Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, has been considered a swing vote on the bill. A majority of voters in his district supported the unsuccessful constitutional amendment last year that would have banned same-sex marriage

Eken said he initially backed legislation that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples. But he said he decided to support legalizing same-sex marriage because public support for same- sex marriage is growing.

“It’s going to happen, and once it does it’s not going to be turned around,” Eken said. “I think as time goes on the acceptance is only going to grow.”

Groups in favor of legal same-sex marriage have been lobbying the Legislature to hold a vote on the bill this year.

DFL legislative leaders say they won’t bring the bill up until the House and Senate pass their budget bills.

  • Ian

    Great to see our elected officials drawing on compassion and courage to stand up for equality and justice!

  • J. D.

    I commend Senator Eken on his thoughtfulness and compassion on this surprisingly divisive issue. We could all learn from his example displayed here today.

  • Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui

    Same-sex marriage is an injustice, a tyrannical ploy being perpetrated upon our society, the pernicious consequences of which are simply mocked and laughed at by its supporters. Ignorance and prejudice have taken the place of knowledge and reason. Caprice and passion substituted for prudence and virtue. The happiness of society, the good of all families, and the welfare of mankind fall victim to the injustice of selfish adult love, which calculates every thing for itself, while taking no notice of a child’s best interest or the public advantage of a government promoting ONLY the traditional family unit.

    Same-sex marriage is antithetical to the Rule of Law, for the principle object of laws in general is to correct bad inclinations, to prevent vicious habits, to hinder their effects, and to eradicate the passions; or at least to contain them within proper limits. Same-sex marriage makes an implicit statement that mothers and fathers are interchangeable, and that sex is irrelevant to parenting. Once same-sex marriage becomes legally and socially acceptable, more women will decide to raise children together. Teen aged boys without fathers are at risk for juvenile delinquency, violence, criminal activity, gang membership, and incarceration. Teen aged girls without fathers are at risk for early sexual activity, multiple sex partners, out of wedlock pregnancies, and sexually transmitted disease.

    Same-sex marriage is perfectly contrary to the principle of marriage, having more resemblance to divorce and adultery, same-sex marriage purposely separates a child from at least one biological parent, thereby creating broken homes, not as a matter of extraordinary circumstances, but as routine. Same-sex marriage proponents callously ignore a child’s Natural Right to know, and be raised by, both biological parents, and make the most preposterous and pretentious claim that marriage was instituted by civil society primarily for the benefit of any two loving adults. Take away Natural Laws, and that moral tie which supports justice and honesty in a whole nation and establishes also particular duties in families, or in other relations of life; and man becomes the most savage and ferocious of all animals,licentiousness becomes the consequence of independence.

    After what has been said, let us be satisfied with observing, that the fitness in favor of the sanction of traditional marriage, is so much stronger and more pressing, as same-sex marriage throws into the system of humanity an obscurity and confusion, which borders on very much upon the absurd, if it does not come quite close up to it. There is, certainly, no comparison between traditional marriage and same-sex marriage, in respect to beauty and fitness; the first is a work of the most perfect reason; the second is defective, and provides no manner of remedy against a great many disorders. Now even this alone points out sufficiently on which side the truth lies, and to reject this truth leads us insensibly to a kind of pyrrhonism, which would also be a subversion of the Rule of Law and social order.

    Here are two truths regarding marriage: (1) A man creating a family with another man is not equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.

    Same-sex marriage PURPOSELY separates a child from at least one biological parent. Non-biological parents lack the advantage of consanguineous insight leaving them all too often ill-prepared to protect the child from unfamiliar hazards. Left unrecognized and unattended, vicious habits, and irregular passions, obfuscate the mind; and neglect, levity, and prejudices of the ill-equipped non-biological parents precipitate a child into the grossest of errors, rendering the child’s conduct a burden to the happiness of both society and the life of the child.

    Same-sex marriage disregards the natural order of procreatory responsibility, not only confusing the natural disposition of parental authority; but undermining the legal principle that children have a right to a relationship with their biological parents, depriving a child access to their biological parent’s genetic, cultural and social heritage, not for extraordinary circumstances, but as a matter of routine. Same-sex marriage amounts to institutionalized adultery through a hostile takeover of civil society by the State. Children will no longer be entitled to their biological parents, as the transitory wants of same-sex adults will have taken precedence over a child’s best interest.

    Children are not pets one purchases from rescue shelters(adoption clinics) and puppy mills(insemination and surrogacy). Children are human beings endowed with a natural desire to be procreated from an engendered act of love between a husband and a wife. Same-sex marriage is adulterous by nature and thereby destructive to not only children, but to civilization.

    Same-sex marriage proponents selfishly demand “Marriage Equality”, yet, in return, they offer LESS-THAN-EQUAL protection of the child’s happiness than can be afforded through the presence of both biological parents. In the name of”Marriage Equality”, same-sex marriage leaves the child fully cognizant that his family is, in all truth, not at all “equal”, natural, nor complete. The use of the term “marriage Equality” by same-sex marriage proponents selfishly ignores the child’s perspective of “equality”.

    Same-sex marriage proponents profess that it is love which gives the right to join the institution of marriage, yet, in doing so, they selfishly violate the principle LOVING objective of this noble institution; to protect a child’s Natural Right to be raised by both biological parents.

    In fine, same-sex marriage surmounts to nothing more than an unnatural extravagance which the supporters most ignorantly claim to be a “right”.

    “No one has a right to do that which, if everybody did it, would destroy society.” —Immanuel Kant

  • Fred Beukema

    Against my better judgement, I started to craft a response to Jean-Jacques’ ideological screed masquerading as “natural law”. Stuff about the kids stuck in the foster system or victimized by abuse and neglect, and the possibility of finding stable environments. To say nothing of the couples, gay or straight, who love and commit to each other without wanting or having kids. Got a couple paragraphs deep. But then I google searched “Same-sex marriage is an injustice, a tyrannical ploy”, and found that versions of this same block of excrement have been left under the same name on a wide variety of articles about marriage equality. Copy, paste.

    Puppy mills? Really? What an ass.

  • Holly


    Burlamaqui talks about this in theory without actually checking in to see a loving family and how it functions! Families come in many shapes and sizes. Affording the legal protections and stability of an official designation of “kin” does not appear selfish. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

    The argument of “kid deserve both biological parents” is theoretical but not realistic. Are all biological parents effective, healthy or best for their kids? No. Should this be used as an argument to deny loving parents the same rights and protections for their families as their neighbors? No.

    Aaron Schaffhausen murdered his kids. Should we use him as the posterboy for “kids deserve a mother AND a father?” His ex-wife did everything possible to provide just that, and 3 beautiful kids are gone now. No. Kids deserve loving families. Studies show that kids do best in LOVING FAMILIES. Studies show that regardless of the orientation or gender of parents, kids thrive in LOVING FAMILIES.

    People caught up claiming the “selfishness” argument have clearly never seen a family in action. There is nothing selfish about parenting, regardless of gender or orientation.

  • AJ Albrecht

    Thanks to Fred Beukema for saving my afternoon! I also began a multi-paragraph response to Jean-Jacques’ inflammatory post. But Fred is right: the challenge is one of responding thoughtfully to such out-of-touch claims.

    This character has posted nearly identical responses all over the internet, each scapegoating same-sex couples for the ills of society and offering horrible, ridiculous prognostications: The sky will fall. People will cease to be happy. Couples (defective, no less) who publicly state life-long commitments are in fact committing adultery (?). Children will turn to crime and promiscuity. Women will become lesbians once they find out they can legally raise kids together. Adoptions equal puppy mills.

    Jean-Jacques: saying something’s so doesn’t make it so. But keep talking. You’re making a seriously compelling case for crazy.

    JJB’s comments remind me of the guy behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. The absolute disconnect practically proves the point for marriage equality. “I am the great and powerful … Look at my command of the English language! … I can posit fear without providing real data. No, wait! Don’t pull that curtain! No! Look over here. Gays are bad. I AM Oz!”

    If that’s all the opposition can muster, I sincerely hope the legislature moves forward and gives MN gay and lesbian families full marriage equality, sooner rather than later. They’ve been raising healthy kids and proving the Jean-Jacques of the world wrong for decades. Give them their rights, already. Let them raise their families in peace, with the same protections as their straight neighbors.

  • AJ Albrecht

    p.s. A huge “huzzah!” to Sen. Kent Eken!

    Will be sharing this story with all of my friends in the Red River Valley.