Minnesota Veteran on His Stolen Marriage Sign: "I Served This Country So That We Are Able To [Have Free Speech]"


A veteran and supporter of the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment comments to the press about having his free speech rights censored by thieves who stole his lawn sign. We've seen this happen in every state that has asked its voters to vote on marriage and exercise their freedom to speak and organize on marriage:

Supporters are helping to spread the 'Vote Yes' message, but it's been irritating for some.

Neighbors woke up Thursday morning to find that something went missing along Lakewood Road, their first amendment rights.

"My neighbor and I, we came out to the drive way and all of sudden we seen our 'yes vote' signs gone," said Jeff Hellesvig.

According to Minnesota for Marriage it's a state wide trend that also includes vandalism.

"I think it just demonstrates that that type of behavior s hows that two competing definitions of marriage doesn't really coexist peacefully," said Leva.

The neighbors say the signs represent their freedom of speech.

"That's one reason why I'm a veteran and I served this country so that we are able to do this," said Hellesvig.

Their replacements are already up.

"That is one of our replacement "Yes Vote" signs in which my neighbor, he just figured that what he would do is put it up on the tree and let them if they can jump up to get that one." -- Northland's News Center

John McAllister also comments in the Duluth News Tribune on the rash of sign stealing and vandalism:

"...It is an organized and well-orchestrated campaign to remove from some citizens a basic right: the right to an expression of free speech. Although one may argue that freedom of marriage is significant, that freedom is not in our Constitution and does not reach the magnitude of freedom of speech.

Since the theft of lawn signs does constitute a property crime, the police department should be involved in apprehending these culprits. We don’t know for certain the guilty party’s identity, but it must be someone who does not want a “yes” on the marriage amendment."

Minnesota for Marriage, meanwhile, has been posting pictures of vandalized Yes signs for some time, for instance here and here.