"The sad part to me is, I thought we were supposed to be able to exercise our rights of free speech. We're supposed to celebrate the fact that we have different perspectives. And it doesn't seem like that's what this is about. This seems to be more personal and we've got to get over that."
AP quoting Republican Tom Emmer, a conservative Minnesota House member who is running for Governor of that state. He is at the center of a debate about gay-friendly corporations donating to anti-gay politicians. Target, Best Buy and others Minnesota-based companies have contributed to MN Forward, a business-oriented PAC that is running ads in support of Emmer. Emmer stands against the extension of health care benefits to gay partners and also boasts of "protecting" marriage for man-woman only couples. (AP / Pioneer Press)
Why Emmer is criticizing his detractors as being against "free speech" is unclear; especially when there is no evidence that Emmer has been prevented from voting or speaking out in any way. In fact, gay rights supporters are exercising their freedom to speak publicly about the matter -- on blogs, in the media, on social networks. And they are exploring the power that their American dollars have over corporations' political maneuverings which could affect their lives. Both Target and Best Buy have released statements saying it's just business, and maintain support for their LGBT employees and the community.
An opposing campaign ad has been released contrasting Tom Emmer's past regarding drunk driving and a grieving mother who lost her son to a drunk driver.