Minnesota Democratic Leaders Tells Representative Not To Seek Re-Election After Police Report He Had Consensual Sex With 17-Year-Old Boy
|MN Rep. Kerry Gauthier, D-Duluth|
SAINT PAUL, MN -- The Democratic House Minority Leader Paul Thissen said Monday that he has asked Democratic state representative Kerry Gauthier,56, who represents the Duluth area, to resign from the race to be reelected to the Minnesota Legislature after police reports indicate he and an unnamed 17 year old boy had oral sex at a at a Duluth-area highway rest stop last month.
“As I shared with Rep. Gauthier, I believe he should withdraw from the race for re-election,” House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a statement. “I am deeply disappointed with Rep. Kerry Gauthier’s conduct that has been reported over the last several days,” he said. “The conduct was wrong and no one in the DFL House Caucus condones the behavior.”
Other party leaders have also expressed their beliefs that Gauthier should go.
"The situation involving Kerry Gauthier is deeply unfortunate, both for Gauthier's constituents and for our party," Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chair Ken Martin said in a statement Monday, Aug. 20. "His actions are inexcusable. No one in our party condones what he did, nor will we defend him in this matter."
A spokesperson for St. Louis County attorney's office told LGBTQNation that prosecutors have determined no crime had been committed in the rest stop incident. The spokesperson also said that the office agreed with a Duluth Police Department conclusion that charges weren't warranted against Gauthier for the incident involving the lawmaker and the 17-year-old because no state laws had been broken.
Investigative records released Thursday showed that Gauthier had admitted to meeting with the teen for consensual oral sex at the rest stop. The teenager told detectives that he considered Gauthier a stranger, and the teen admitted that he had told Gauthier that he was 18 years old.
Gauthier, who is unmarried, has made no public comments about the incident. He is a first-term legislator.
Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle filed paperwork on Friday to run as a write-in candidate against Gauthier and Republican Travis Silver. It is too late for Gauthier’s name to be dropped from the ballot.
Gauthier didn't respond to an e-mailed message from LGBTQNation late Monday asking for comment.
According to Minnesota elections officials, it is too late for Gauthier’s name to be removed from the ballot.
Same-Sex Marriage Advocates In Maryland Thrilled At Wording Of Ballot Referendum: The Civil Marriage Protection Act
ANNAPOLIS, MD -- The campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality said Monday that the organisation is pleased by the decision on the wording by the Maryland State Board of Elections regarding the referendum on same-sex marriage in the state which was passed by the State Assembly earlier this year and signed into law by Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley.
“The wording is accurate and straightforward and will serve as another way to educate voters” said Josh Levin, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality. “This referendum is about equality under the law and protecting religious freedom, and we know the more people know about this issue the more they support it. Voter education is what’s fueling our momentum.”
The Maryland Secretary of State’s office released the language Monday of the same-sex marriage referendum, Question 6, which will ask voters to vote for or against the Civil Marriage Protection Act. A July Hart Research poll shows marriage equality supporters have a 14-point lead and election analysts and other experts agree the language matters a great deal.
The language of the ballot measure:
Question 6 [...] Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.
Derek McCoy, executive director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, the group that collected more than 160,000 signatures in support of the referendum, criticized the language. In a statement Monday to the Washington Blade, McCoy said:
“This is a transparent attempt by the Secretary of State to bias voters to be in favor of the legislation, but it’s an attempt that will backfire,” he said. “Voters will be inherently suspicious of any description that goes to such lengths to say what supposedly isn’t impacted, rather than deal forthrightly with what obviously is impacted.
Maryland parents who send their children to public schools are immediately asking how does this affect what is taught in schools. Business owners have a right to know if their personal opinions about same-sex marriage will find them in violation of the law.
It’s a classic ‘pay no attention to that man behind the curtain’ moment that will make it easier for us to bring attention to the profound consequences of redefining marriage.”