The Potluck

Gazelka’s comments ignite strong reactions

By: - January 17, 2020 2:39 pm

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s comments in an interview with Colorado televangelist Andrew Wommack generated strong reaction Thursday from Minnesota’s LGBTQ community and progressives, who pledged to flip the GOP-controlled state Senate.

In the hour-long interview, which was reported by the Minnesota Reformer, Gazelka explained why he believes churches and counselors should be free to help youth with “unwanted same-sex attraction.” He also said he believed homosexuality can be caused by having a poor relationship with one’s same-sex parent. He also opined on rural vs. urban welfare and Trump’s appeal in Minnesota.

Gazelka last year successfully defeated a gay-conversion ban at the Capitol. The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, and state Rep. Hunter Cantrell, DFL-Savage, would have banned anyone from offering gay-conversion therapy to minors in Minnesota.

Dibble responded to Gazelka’s comments on Twitter by calling out his comments as “religious chauvinism” and “dog-whistling.”

State Sen. Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina, said Gazelka’s comments gave her another reason to work “as hard as I can for a #DFLSenateMajority.”

To Gazelka’s comment that, “A lot of my job frankly is stopping the onslaught of the left from continually moving us in a way that we know is contrary to the Bible,” the Jewish Community Action replied that it organizes “from our Jewish values, but religious ideology should never be the basis for legislation. MN isn’t a theocracy.”

But not all the comments were negative.

John Gilmore, a former columnist for Alpha News MN and conservative blogger, tweeted the story, with a blunt: “So?”

And some, like Minnesota attorney and blogger, Nathan Hansen, tweeted support for Gazelka: “This makes me like @paulgazelka even more,” Hansen tweeted.

Others on Twitter, like Mike O’Rourke a former associate editor at the Brainerd Dispatch, focused on Gazelka’s comments regarding urban and rural welfare recipients: 


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Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.