(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E760-E761]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. KEITH ELLISON

                              of minnesota

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 23, 2013

  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of Minnesota State 
Representative Karen Clark. Representative Clark grew up on a small 
farm in southwest Minnesota. She moved to South Minneapolis in 1967 and 
was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1980. She is 
the longest-serving openly gay state legislator in the country.
  Representative Clark has long worked for the civil rights of all 
Americans, including LGBT Americans. She led the effort to add sexual 
orientation to the categories protected by the Minnesota Human Rights 
Act of 1993. The law now bans discrimination based on sexual 
orientation in employment, housing, public services, public 
accommodations, education, credit, and business contracting. In 
addition, the law defines sexual orientation broadly to include gender 
identity, providing important protections for transgendered 
Minnesotans. Representative Clark has also sponsored successful 
legislative initiatives to strengthen enforcement of hate crime laws in 
Minnesota. Her efforts on behalf of LGBT Minnesotans have earned 
Representative Clark numerous awards, including the Minneapolis 
Commission on Human Rights' first Martin Luther King Award, the 
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Leadership Award for antiviolence 
legislation, and the International Network of Gay & Lesbian Officials' 
Founding Member Service Award.
  Representative Clark's work for LGBT rights has culminated in the 
passage of the Minnesota Freedom to Marry bill that will legalize same-
sex marriage in Minnesota. Representative Clark was the chief author of 
this historic legislation and helped shepherd it through the Minnesota 
House of Representatives, where it passed by a vote of 75 to 59 on May 
9, 2013. In a public ceremony on May 14, 2013, Governor Mark Dayton 
signed the bill into law, legalizing same-sex marriage for all 
Minnesotans. For her decades-long fight for LGBT equality, the Obama 
Administration rightly honored Representative Clark as a Harvey Milk 
Champion of Change.
  Representative Clark makes Minnesotans proud. I urge this Congress to 
recognize her extraordinary efforts on behalf of the rights and 
freedoms of all Minnesotans and Americans.

[[Page E761]]