The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 30, 2012

Your View: 'Yes' sign on amendment hurt

Kevin Swanson, Mankato

— I arrived home to see your sign staring at me and my family. Your yard sign pierced through the darkness and cut deep.

I have tried to steel myself against the “Vote Yes” marriage-limiting signs. But, your sign cut to the bone. I will not cry, but it hurts.

You were there over two decades as my children grew. We delivered your newspaper. We helped clear your snow. We were not close, but we were neighbors and I thought we were friends.

You have the freedom to display your sign. Our freedoms make this country great.

My son has fought for those freedoms in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, he was also fighting for his brother’s freedoms, thinking they were the same as your children’s. But, his brother is gay, so those freedoms are denied and it hurts.

Being Minnesotan all my 57 years, I do believe in Minnesota Nice and consider everyone my neighbor. So I have written this letter not just to you, but to all my neighbors. And not just for me, but for all who feel as I do. We all hurt.

If the marriage limiting amendment passes, we will hurt every day. My son, his partner and my grandchildren will not have the freedoms and protections your children and grandchildren have.

So, for my family, I beg that you please consider removing your sign. And maybe, if you can find the compassion in your heart, maybe even consider voting “no” on the marriage-limiting amendment, for us.

It hurts and no one is looking so, maybe I should — yes, maybe I shall — take just one moment and cry.