The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2012

November 7, 2012

Supporters reflect on marriage amendment

MANKATO —  

The Meier house is ready for action.

The table is full of fresh veggies, crackers and Key lime pie. There are beers on tables, Cokes on TV trays. A dish full of M&Ms. Laptops and iPads fired up and humming along.

And there are people. People with “I voted” stickers, people discussing electoral votes, people peering at the television screen every time Wolf Blitzer proclaims he’s ready with another projection about Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Minnesota.

But while this crowd is paying attention to all the developments of election night, the one that they’re paying attention to with their hearts is very obvious to anyone who walks in the door.

“Vote no” stickers have been stuck to ball caps and T-shirts. “Vote no” signs are draped over the fireplace, across the closets. There are also American flags, red, white and blue decorations, even a cute little West Highland terrier named Ringo being chased around by a little girl named Esme.

“No” is the word of the day, here.

“Voting ‘no’ is extremely important,” said Sammie Hedwall, who along with her husband was watching the election results come in Tuesday night. “Personally, I have a 1-year-old. Even though this doesn’t give (gays and lesbians) the right to get married, some day if she chooses to, I’d like her to have the right to marry whoever she wants.”

As of midnight, the amendment question had yet to be decided. And it may not be decided until some time today. Only 65 percent of the precincts across the state had reported by midnight, and the vote was very close: 49 percent had cast “yes” votes, and the rest had either cast “no” votes or had left it blank, which counts as a “no.”

James Abel said he got an interesting letter in the mail the other day. It was from his grandmother. It said she didn’t understand his “lifestyle” choice, and included a six-page letter from her church she thought would help guide him down the right path.

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Election 2012