Reporting Edgar Linares
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (WCCO) – In Brooklyn Park, a group of very angry homeowners are coming together after they say their “VOTE NO” signs were stolen or damaged.
The vandalism is happening on Mississippi Lane, north of Brookdale Drive. Curt Oliver lives on the street and he says a total of five signs were torn apart two weeks ago, and then replaced. Then, on Wednesday, the five new signs were stolen.
“Someone is obviously very angry about this issue,” Oliver said. “We understand people have very strong feelings about this.”
Oliver has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years with his partner Gail Hanson. He says he’s never felt uncomfortable living there as an openly gay man.
“This has come out of the blue and startled us all,” Oliver said.
Another victim is Brooklyn Park East District Councilwoman Elizabeth Knight. She lives on Mississippi Lane with her husband and says having this done to her street is personally troubling. She grew up with two mothers and strongly opposes the marriage amendment.
“I’m outraged,” Knight said. “We will not tolerate prejudice and bigotry in our community. This is the second-most diverse city in the state and this is not welcome. This is a violation of free speech.”
Knight contacted Brooklyn Park Police. Officers then contacted the Human Rights Commission and now neighbors are waiting for a response.
After the signs were taken Wednesday night, Oliver went out and purchased new ones again. He hopes addressing this issue will open some kind of communication with others on his street.
“We’re hoping we can have in our neighborhood a very civil discussion of issues regarding the marriage amendment and not resort to this kind of violence,” Oliver said.