Congressional candidate Allen Quist said Tuesday that government shouldn’t be involved in the gay marriage debate, one week after he declared his support for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to between a man and woman.

“I think that government does not have a role in whether people should get married or not,” Quist said at a public event in Winona.

His words directly conflict with a statement the Republican, running against U.S. Rep. Tim Walz in the 1st District, sent the Daily News last week detailing his position on the state’s proposed marriage amendment.

“I support the marriage amendment because for over a thousand years, Western culture has defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” he said in the statement. “I don’t see a compelling reason to change that definition.”

Quist said in a subsequent interview Tuesday that the two statements are “paradoxical but not contradictory.”

“I was very explicit in saying government should not have a role in whether people choose to marry or not marry,” Quist said. “But government does have a role in defining marriage.”

Quist said he values the tradition of marriage between a man and a woman.

“I am very reluctant to give up traditions without compelling reasons,” Quist said, adding that the arguments against the marriage amendment are “not compelling enough, in my judgment.”

Quist said the marriage amendment has not been a focus of his campaign, since it is a state issue and he is running for federal office.

“I know this is a really important issue to a lot of people, it’s not, you know, to me, it’s not even on the back burner,” Quist said. “It’s back there so far I can hardly see it. It’s just not a concern of mine.”

But he said if the issue ever came before Congress, he would vote to keep marriage between one man and one woman.

Quist’s statement comes as Minnesota residents prepare to vote Nov. 6 on the proposed amendment. It also comes a week after Walz announced the formation of Veterans United, about 100 members including Walz who plan to travel the state between now and Nov. 6 advocating against the amendment.

Quist was touring the 1st District Tuesday to discuss a claim Walz made at a Sept. 27 debate accusing Quist of saying he wanted to cut veterans’ benefits. Quist is calling on Walz to retract that statement and formally apologize. Walz’s campaign has refused.

“Tim Walz will never apologize for fighting for veterans and their families,” said communications director Tony Ufkin in a statement Tuesday. “This isn’t about Mr. Quist’s feelings. Tim Walz has a strong bipartisan record of standing up for the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom.”

(5) comments


So is Allen saying he supports gay marriage? He must be losing if he thinks he needs to pander to libs and gays for votes. Well guess what Quist - you ARE losing my vote for not standing for what we believe in. A REAL MAN and a REAL CONSERVATIVE stays be his principles. If you like gays then why don't you just come out and say it and be a democrap? Otherwise you should have said gay marriage is WRONG and IMMORAL and Christians and ARE GOVERNMENT needs to fight it. Anything less than standing true to your friends, your family, and your GOD makes you just a liberal flipflopper. And to think I was just going to cut you a check....


I don't support either political party because to do so, is idiotic......gays are sexual deviants. They'll never be part of normal society.

Don Evanson

October 4, 2012

To the Editor,

The Winona Daily News is surely “in-the-tank” for the Tim Walz campaign and for gay marriages!

An opinion piece by its reporter, Mary Juhl, “reporting” on Congressional candidate Allen Quist’s appearance and press conference in Winona on Wednesday, was assigned a blatantly false headline and then given prominence above the fold on the front page of Thursday’s paper.

Quist was in Winona to counter a false statement that Walz has been making about him, claiming that Quist would cut veteran’s benefits. When Walz was asked to cite the basis of his claim, it was found that Quist had only warned
“that the only way to protect entitlements and to protect our national defense spending" is to balance the budget. Allen Quist is correct. If we don't balance the budget, we will run out of money, and everything is then threatened.

Juhl gave scant attention to reporting the issues of Walz’s false claim, and Quist's responding press release, with budget-balancing being the focal point of Quist’s campaign.

Rather, Juhl decided that she had caught Quist in a contradiction of statements – statements unrelated to the purpose of the press conference – and then the editor plastered the headline “Quist weighs in on gay marriage” over it, further subtitled “Says government does not have a role in debate.”

Since I was in attendance at the press conference, and was flabbergasted by the newspaper’s bit of yellow journalism in handling its “report,” I have reviewed a video of the conference to confirm my recollections of what was said.

Responding to a question by another reporter during the concluding “questions session” of the appearance, wherein the reporter asked why we should be preserving the traditional definition of marriage since the divorce rate is so high, Quist responded, “I think that government does not have a role in whether people should get married, or not. I think that’s totally a freedom issue. Where people who want to get married, I think that’s fine. If they chose not to get married, I think that’s fine. I have a real problem with government discriminating against people if they do get married.”

That question and the response were clearly not in the context of gay marriages, but in the context of the traditional definition of marriage. Quist then went on to tell of the discriminating marriage penalty that hides in the Obamacare Act, and how that penalty is going to serve as a disincentive to marry. It was in that context, disincentive or not, that he was able to say that government should not play a role in deciding who gets married and who doesn’t.

While Walz has made it a component of his campaign to laud gay marriages (ostensibly because gays are needed to defend our country) -- and Obamacare -- Quist has not. I think that I know Quist well enough to know that he is opposed to gay marriages, but that has not been a featured component of his campaign, since it is presently a Minnesota issue, not a federal issue, therefore not involved with the seat that he and Walz are seeking. Indeed, when Juhl had earlier pressed Quist for a statement in response to Walz’s promotion of “Vote No,” Quist simply responded, "I support the marriage amendment because for over a thousand years, Western culture has defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. I don't see a compelling reason to change that definition."

Don Evanson
Minnesota City


I honestly couldn't care less about gay marriage......what I'm concerned about is double digit unemployment, soaring debt, and $5.00 gas.


This coming from a man who went "uncover" in adult book stores to try to find evidence of Sodomy...

Also the same man who argued that a counseling center at MSU was as great of an evil as the KKK setting up shop on campus..

The same man who spent 30 hours of a single legislative session talking about sex..

The previous actions of Allen Quist certainly lead me to believe he thinks government should regulating sex and marriage regardless of what he now claims in this election.


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.