A former top aide to Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday publicly urged Minnesota GOP legislators to back legalized gay marriage or risk alienating young voters. Brian McClung, who was deputy chief of staff to Pawlenty, made his case in a Star Tribune commentary piece due for publication Thursday but also spoke with The Associated Press. He said he is willing to go directly to Republican lawmakers considered persuadable on the issue ahead of legislative votes on gay marriage. Those votes are expected before the Legislature adjourns in mid-May. McClung said by resisting gay marriage the GOP is ignoring a generational gap on the issue and coming off as out of touch.