A gay man in Minnesota has apologised on behalf of his community after a married state senator who opposed equal marriage rights had an “illicit affair” with a male member of her staff.

In an open letter to Republican state senator Amy Koch, John Medeiros said he was speaking for all gays and lesbians in the state when he regretted that their “selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union”.

Earlier this month, Koch resigned as majority leader of the state senate. Later that day, four Republican state senators reportedly said Koch had had an “inappropriate” relationship with a male staff member.

In 2009, she authored an unsuccessful bill to amend the Minnesota Constitution declaring “A marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in Minnesota.”

In the marriage equality debate, it is frequently claimed that gay marriage rights threaten the stability of the institution of marriage.

Mr Medeiros’s letter, in full:

Dear Ms. Koch,

On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage. We are ashamed of ourselves for causing you to have what the media refers to as an “illicit affair” with your staffer, and we also extend our deepest apologies to him and to his wife. These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tactics have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society.

We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry. And we are doubly remorseful in knowing that many will see this as a form of sexual harassment of a subordinate.

It is now clear to us that if we were not so self-focused and myopic, we would have been able to see that the time you wasted diligently writing legislation that would forever seal the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, could have been more usefully spent reshaping the legal definition of “adultery.”

Forgive us. As you know, we are not church-going people, so we are unable to fully appreciate that “gay marriage” is incompatible with Christian values, despite the fact that those values carry a biblical tradition of adultery such as yours. We applaud you for keeping that tradition going.

And finally, shame on us for thinking that marriage is a private affair, and that our marriage would have little impact on anyone’s family. We now see that marriage is more than that. It is an agreement with society. We should listen to the Minnesota Family Council when it tells us that marriage is about being public, which explains why marriages are public ceremonies. Never did we realize that it is exactly because of this societal agreement that the entire world is looking at you in shame and disappointment instead of minding its own business.

From the bottom of our hearts, we ask that you please accept our apology.

Thank you.
John Medeiros
Minneapolis MN