Skip to main content

Lawmaker ruffles feathers by introducing friend who left "the gay lifestyle"

  • Author:
  • Updated:

On the eve of legislative committees taking up a bill that would legalize same sex marriage in Minnesota, some lawmakers are stewing over a colleague's tactic on the House floor.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, a Republican from Glencoe, introduced a friend who Gruenhagen said had been "active in the gay lifestyle for about 10 years" and then had left it behind.

Gruenhagen made headlines nearly two weeks ago, when he called homosexuality a choice and a "sexual addiction" that should not be recognized by state law.

His introduction of his friend Kevin Petersen Monday was deemed completely inappropriate by House Speaker Paul Thissen, who immediately admonished members to stop greeting friends or family members from the House floor.

Other DFLers in the House joined the speaker in condemning Gruenhagen's move. MPR reports the top Republican, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, initially sought to sidestep the issue but later issued a statement calling Gruenhagen's comments inappropriate.

The liberal blog Bluestem Prairie has more on Petersen's work with Gruenhagen on last fall's unsuccessful effort to amend the state Constitution to recognize only opposite sex marriages.

Here's a video clip from the UpTake of Gruenhagen's remarks and Thissen's response:

Committees in both the House and Senate are scheduled to take up a bill on Tuesday that would repeal a law recognizing only opposite sex marriages.

Next Up

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.