The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 7, 2012

Update: Marriage amendment left at altar

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. 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. And apparently, it was for much of the state as the marriage amendment was declared defeated at about 1:45 a.m. today.

The vote was very close: 51.3 percent voted no; 1.38 percent left the question blank, equaling a no vote; and 47.3 percent cast yes votes.

“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.”

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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