Representative David FitzSimmons picked quite a time to speak for the first time on the Minnesota House floor. It was during the debate on the marriage equality bill on May 9, 2013. He offered an amendment to make same-sex marriage only apply to civil marriage. His amendment was accepted for debate, but ultimately was defeated 22-111. When the vote on the full bill came, he was one of a handful of Republicans who voted for the it, which did pass and become law. But he is the first Republican Representative to be forced into retirement because of his vote. This past weekend, Republicans endorsed his opponent Eric Lucero who opposes marriage equality. FitzSimmons has said he would not run in a primary.
This is what he said about his amendment to insert the word "civil" into the marriage equality bill.
At 2:05 he says
"I always appreciate anyones efforts to do something that they believe is increasing our liberties and increasing our freedoms. And I know that everyone in here has very different ideas of what that is. Sometimes I wish that more people agreed with mine. "
"We all have different ideas, but I think it's important for all of us to make sure when we're expanding someone else's liberty or protecting someones freedom or liberty that we're making sure that to our best ability that this body is watching out, that it doesn't infringe on someone else's freedom and liberty. I think that's important. I think that's going to be important on this issue going forward for everybody to keep that in mind and everybody to have sensitivity about that. And I believe this amendment can help insure that those protections of conscience exist and they're protected. That's an important thing I hold and I think many others share that."