by: Kim Hyatthyatt045@d.umn.edu
The streets of Duluth are full of color this time of year and not simply because of leaf pigments changing.
Political yard signs varying in color, candidate and party are widespread; you see them everywhere on every street. Some find common ground with others, seeing they have the same sign in their yard as someone else, and sometimes others see differences.
“One night somebody drew some figures on it,” said John Weiske, living right off of College Street. “So, my wife just cut them out and we put it back out.”
A neighbor to the UMD campus, Weiske has had the same “Vote Yes” sign in his yard this whole campaign. Despite the threat of damage, he continues to exercise his first amendment right by showing his support for the marriage amendment.
“It’s on the ballot as an amendment so that the people would decide if marriage is between a man and a woman, not a judge, not the Legislature,” said Weiske. “It really does put the freedom in the peoples’ hands to make that decision.”
Asking Legislature to place the amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot for the people to make that decision is Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition of leaders, both in and outside the religious community, who support the Minnesota marriage amendment
“Right now it’s state law,” Weiske said. “Marriage is between one man and one woman. So it (the amendment) is to protect that.”
Currently, gay marriage is illegal in Minnesota. This is also the case in 38 other states that have statutory laws and/or constitutional provisions limiting marriage to one man and one woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislature.
“My hope is that the amendment passes,” Weiske said. “But the thing is, with the amendment being on the ballot, if you don’t vote ‘yes’ it’s a ‘no’ vote.”
Minnesota law requires any changes made to the Constitution have to surpass a majority of all ballots cast. This means that if a voter doesn’t answer the marriage amendment question when voting, they are counted as voting ‘no.’
The proposed constitutional amendment will continue to gain supporters like Weiske, who hopes to still have the same “Vote Yes” yard sign come Nov. 6.
His strategy is simple:
“We put it away at night,” Weiske said.
For more information on Minnesota for Marriage and voting “yes” go to: http://www.minnesotaformarriage.com/