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I live in Eagan and the first lawn sign I placed was a 'Vote No' sign. Shortly after I received a knock at the door. A neighbor woman and her three young sons were at my door thanking me for posting my sign. She is straight as am I but she said I had given her courage to post her own sign and several of her neighbors followed suit. She said she wanted her sons to be accepting of all families. It was a wonderful expression. I will always remember it.
I truly hope more people vote No. Doing what is decent don't cost a penny and will make a world of difference to so many families. The next generation will be the better for it.
Great story! I've seen many Vote NO signs throughout St. Paul neighborhoods. I counted 8 consecutive houses in one neighborhood that had Vote NO signs. I am a straight, married, 55 year-old guy who cannot imagine what it must have been like to be an older gay or lesbian person in the 60's and 70's when I was young. I cannot imagine the discrimination GLBT people faced and how many had to hide their sexual orientation lest they be fired from their jobs, rejected by their families, ridiculed, and in some cases, physically harmed. Were they alive today, I can't help but imagine how shocked they would be to see the outpouring of support from their heterosexual neighbors. How shocked they would be to receive such public displays of support denoted in bright orange colors. I have to admit that one unintended consequence of this odious amendment is the outpouring of public support that the older GLBT crowd could never have imagined in their wildest dreams. I thank all of the good people who are now taking a very public, and long overdue, stand on demanding equality for all.
For the first time I attended the annual Peace and Love and Justice parade in Minneapolis this past June. It was heart warming, from head to toe, to watch the happy representatives of over thirty Church groups wish everyone a happy, proud, Loving life. Now, that is freedom for People, and freedom for Religion! You may know it as the Gay Pride Parade, but for me it will always be the Peace and Love and Justice...and Freedom of Religion Parade. I was especially pleased to see the groups "Catholics Voting NO!", and Mormon Allies! - Another Christian, married (straight) couple with an orange lawn sign.
Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if we all accepted each other as we were? Voting NO is a step in the right direction; we are all God's children and He does not discriminate!
This is an inspiring story, but it still pains my heart somewhat that we're having to mobilize to defend the basic rights of so many families. I wish we were voting to amend the constitution to allow same-sex marriage.
We had the opposite experience in our neighborhood. A couple who lives across the street from a gay couple put up a "Yes" sign. The gay couple has a long-term relationship and are wonderful neighbors who maintain their house and garden beautifully and are supportive in community events. We talked with the couple, who said their faith compels them to support the amendment. While we respect their religious views, is it really necessary to have a sign up that the gay couple sees every day, telling them that they are considered second-class citizens? It's appalling to be so cruel. And it's not like the hurt will go away after November 6. Regardless of the outcome, the gay couple will always remember the incivility of their neighbors. It's a microcosm of the unnecessary harm this wedge issue has caused.
While I have driven around our small suburb the last fews weeks, I have noticed marriage amendment signs of both Yes and No. I was pretty proud of our community as all of the signs have remained and stayed in tact. Yesterday however two homes had their Vote Yes signs either taken or vandalized .... while the house across the street with their Gay Pride flag, their sign stayed in tact. It was sad seeing the older gentleman collect his signs from the road and taping them back together to put them back up again. This solidified my Yes vote!
That's too bad blfiko. I wish that hadn't happened. I know the only evidence you've seen is these Vote Yes signs in your suburb. However, its been happening all over the state with both sides. I drive by a Vote No sign every day in Wayzata that was clearly torn in half and had to be taped back together. Please don't let the fact that the only vandalism you've actually seen "solidify" your yes vote. I guess I would hope your vote is not so easily influenced. I will proudly vote no on Tuesday but it will not be because of lawn signs or vandalism or heart warming stories. It will be because its the right thing for me to do. I'm not asking you to vote no (although, I would love that!), I'm simply asking you to recognize that this horrid behavior is swinging both ways. In fact, in June when the signs first started being put out, there were multitudes of reports of people having to come in and buy new signs because their first signs had been stolen. Incredibly disheartening that our society would behave this way - on either "side".
I am thankful we live in a society where we can express our views without fear of serious reprisals - for the most part. Freedom of speech and expression is priceless. However, the implication of many of the "Vote No" articles I read and discussions I hear is that those whose convictions and beliefs will lead them to vote "yes" are inherently wrong and should be silenced or intimidated; as if there is only one acceptable view or opinion on this matter. I know many neighbors who are voting "yes" who will not put out "Vote Yes" signs because of the negative backlash they think they may experience (I live in an overwhelmingly "Vote No" neighborhood). It saddens me when I think of how this issue has divided people like no other in recent memory - in great part due to the media's overemphasis of one side and the misrepresentation of the other. I will not be ashamed of or intimidated away from my "Yes" vote - and I have a "Vote Yes" sign in my yard to express my conviction - and I will still be a great neighbor to all of my neighbors, no matter what the signs in their yards may say.
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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