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CRAIG'S COMMENTS: Freedom of Speech Under Attack

Political Sign vandalism is an Attack on Freedom of Speech. Woodbury sign is stolen overnight. Should we see the wrong in this?

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It is a sad day in our city when one person believes that another person does not deserve to be heard. 

A yard sign in my yard was stolen overnight. Maybe the person disagreed with the sentiment of the sign, but does that give that person a right to deny my voice to be heard?  

The sign said, "VOTE NO" and beneath it, "Don't Limit the Freedom to Marry."  

If you also have had a sign stolen, please contact, 
police@ci.woodbury.mn.us  Lee Vague  Public Safety Director/Police Chief

This kind of vandalism, although not painful, is harmful to our community.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, here is my opinion on this. The right to marry for gay people is a civil rights issue, just as the right for people to marry someone of a different race was a civil rights issue.

Before 1967, 41 states had laws that forbid the marriage of a white person to a person of color. The 1967 Supreme Court ruling (Loving v. Virginia) overturned all of these laws. That case was of a couple from Virginia who went to Washington DC and were married, one of them white, one of them black. The Supreme Court negated all of those laws.  [See more at: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_mar14.htm or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia.]

The United States is in that kind of transition period now. The younger generation cannot understand why many of their parents and grandparents think that the marriage of two men, or of two women, is such a big deal. In the next decade that will be resolved.

The issues keep coming:

Having minorities serving next to white soldiers is bad for moral and the cohesiveness of the unit. [WRONG!]

Having women in combat positions will lead to a loss of military combat integrity.   [WRONG!]

Having women in positions of leadership will be cause for the US economy to crumble. [Really?]

Having a person of a non-Christian faith working on staff, will cause a loss of security to US Secrets. [Are you serious?]

Once again, we are being "slippery-sloped" into believing that having a gay couple living down the street will affect our own relationships. How does that work? Do you need the support, encouragement or approval of your neighbors for your marriage to 'work?' Get real! or get marriage counseling.

—Craig Thorsen, Woodbury resident

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Irving August 21, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I personally would like to see civil marriage abolished and make all relationships specifically contractual. The legal ramifications of marriage are overwhelming, and conflating that sort of contractual behemoth with the sweet and beautiful ceremony of marriage is ridiculous. I'm all for getting the government out of relationships. I'm also all for people exploring whatever relationship works best for them.
Beth-Ann Bloom August 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Unfortunately this is happening in other neighborhoods too. These 2 groups are tracking where the signs are taken. Please notify them. Stolen orange VOTE NO lawn signs? Please report location and quantity of stolen signs to the MN United office front desk at 651-330-6852. THey are going to track the thefts. Please also report it to the OutFront Minnesota AVP because we are tracking all incidents as well? it's super easy and takes about two minutes on the reporting form on the website: http://www.outfront.org/Home | OutFront Minnesota http://www.outfront.org/
Aj Janssen August 22, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Sad fact of life, kids and haters, racists and bigots will do this every election. I ordered extra Jill Stein signs because of it. I think I better order some more. Who do I get a vote no sign from?
Beth-Ann Bloom August 22, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Signs available at offices of Minnesotans United for All Families Saint Paul 1821 University Avenue West, Suite-S137 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 (On the corner of University and Fairview) (651) 330-6852 2. Minneapolis 1629 Hennepin Ave Suite #200 Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403 (Between Loring Park and the Basilica) (612) 486-5912
Craig Thorsen August 22, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Beth-Ann, Thanks for the info on replacing the sign. Good news! The woman from down the street; the one who had had a "Vote Yes" sign in her lawn; came over. Her sign had been taken, and a "Vote No" sign was in its place. She suggested that some kids might have done this. She thinks that it might be mine, so she gave it to me, to replace the one which had been taken. I thanked her. It should be clear that she should have the same Freedom of Speech rights as I claim for myself, and be able to have her voice heard on the other side of this issue. My "Vote No" sign costs $10, her "Vote Yes" sign cost her $17. Maybe someone will find her sign and will be kind enough to return it to her. Craig Thorsen Woodbury resident
Kris Janisch August 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Nice of her, even though she disagrees with you on this topic, to give it back.
Matthew Johnson August 22, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I like Irving's view of the topic, however, regardless of your stance on the issue at hand the right to express your views. Why the extra letter in "Yes" costs another $7 is interesting....
Paul Whackernutz August 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Express your views yes, tresspass, no. There's a difference between "stolen" signs and those that are "removed." While it doesn't look like it's the case here, I know many people (and myself) who have had signs of all kinds put up on their private property without permission that toss them.

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