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Marriage Equality Finds Allies in Conservatives of a Certain Age

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The New York Times
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December 17, 2012
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Doug Montzka, a contractor from St. Paul, describes himself as a devout Christian, a very conservative Republican and, only recently, a supporter of same-sex marriage. He cannot pinpoint the moment he changed sides — his views have evolved, he says — but he does know that five years ago, he never would have voted for it. While he trusts most everything in the Bible and knows that Leviticus condemns homosexuality as an abomination, “there’s no other reason I can think it’s wrong except the Bible,” he said. “I’ve coached youth sports for years and had a few kids with gay parents,” said Mr. Montzka, 53. “As far as I’m concerned, if it works for them, it’s O.K. with me.” While he worries that society could be changing too rapidly, he also sees changes for the better. “My brother married a black girl, and that worked out great for them,” said Mr. Montzka, who is white. “You’d never see that 50 years ago.” He believes that his business dealings with gay couples would be simpler if they were married. “I’ve had cases,” he said, “where it’s one telling me the other one is supposed to be paying the bill.” The ultimate decision maker was his conservative distrust of government interference in people’s private lives. “If I’m going to make a mistake,” he said, “it’s on the side of less government.”