Heated Senate Debate Over "Minnesota Teen Challenge" Funding
(St.Paul, MN) -- Heated debate in the Minnesota Senate this afternoon as Republicans tried unsuccessfully to earmark one-and-a-half-million-dollars for Minnesota Teen Challenge -- a group that opponents say sends negative messages and tries to convert gay and lesbian clients. Maple Grove Republican Warren Limmer points to Teen Challenge's 75-percent success rate in faith-based programs for addiction recovery. He says no government program comes anywhere close, and the alternative for most clients is probably prison. But Minneapolis Democrat Scott Dibble, who is gay, objects to taxpayer dollars going to Teen Challenge. He says they send a very negative message about some people, religiously-construed to an Assembly of God perspective -- and Dibble says "don't ask me to pay for it."