The lefties over at Think Progress have charted Tim Pawlenty’s shifting views on gay rights, which Brooklyn blogger Elon Green judges “generally regressive.”
It’s a worthwhile exercise, but begins with a whopper that will make locals do a spit-take:
● 1993: Pawlenty voted to extend protection to gays and lesbians under the state Human Rights Act, effectively banning discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation as well as race, religion, ethnicity and physical or mental disability. (The conservative Star Tribune wrote “the bill would destroy family values and give official sanction to an immoral lifestyle.”)
Say what you will about the Strib’s coverage these days, but few would call the 1993 version “conservative.” Even if you disagree, it’s hard to imagine the paper judging a civil rights bill so harshly, either in an editorial or news coverage.
And, of course, they didn’t. Here’s staff writer Donna Halvorsen’s March 19, 1993 front-page lede:
Fending off arguments that passing a gay-rights bill would destroy family values and give official sanction to an immoral lifestyle, the Minnesota Senate and House voted Thursday to extend protection to gays and lesbians under the state Human Rights Act.
Squabbling over the Strib’s ideological course is best left to locals, Elon.