By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Hundreds rallied at the State Capitol Thursday supporting gay marriage, including the parents of a gay Minnesota soldier killed in Afghanistan last month.

The parents of Andrew Wilfahrt told the rally, the fact their son was gay was the least interesting thing about him. At the same time, they vowed to fight for gay civil rights in his honor.

“I hope my son didn’t die for human beings, for Americans, for Minnesotans, who would deny him civil rights,” he said.

Wilfahrt was killed in February by an explosive device while serving in Afghanistan.

His parents, joined by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, predicted gay marriage will become legal in the state.

“I believe that day will come,” Dayton said.

Standing on the Capitol steps, the Wilfahrts criticized efforts by the Minnesota Family Council for promoting a constitutional amendment, banning gay marriage.

A spokesman for the group released its own poll showing a majority favor a vote.

“Let the people vote on the issue. This is what this is all about. Let the people vote and vote on it, like they’ve done in 31 other states,” said Chuck Darrell, of the Minnesota Family Council.

The Wilfahrt parents, who wear the purple service star depicting a dead soldier, said if an anti-gay marriage amendment is approved, they’ll fight it all the way to the Supreme Court.

“Very concerned. It’s silly. It makes no sense anymore,” said Lori Wilfahrt. “We’re better than that.”

There are Republicans in the legislature who plan to introduce an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

If the legislature approves it, it will go on the election ballot in 2012.

Comments (26)
  1. Meg says:

    The people of Minnesota should vote on this issue. It can’t just be approved by a governer. If it is approved by the majority of votes than that’s it. That way it will be officially the will of the people. An issue this profound for our society needs to be done that way.

    1. Adam says:

      This is indeed a profound issue for our society, but that’s why we need to move slowly. The opinions that make up the will of the people are changing rapidly, and the rising generations have a much more positive view of same-sex attraction than older generations, who grew up on the anti-gay demonizing that even Anita Bryant (eventually) renounced.

      Why is the Family Council in such a rush to change our constitution, to lock these couples out of marriage and lock these new generations out of the referendum on marriage? Is it because they know that every year we’re getting closer to a state where everyone has the same rights as everyone else?

      Are they rushing to force a vote on the rights of this group of people because the will of the people will soon reach

      1. Adam says:

        …a tipping point in favor of same-sex marriage?

    2. Good Ol Boy says:

      The will of the people?

      So only gays are voting? Why would a heterosexual feel the need to voice an opinion one way or another? It doesn’t affect us.

      Is being gay wrong? If so, why aren’t you just banning being gay entirely? Are you afraid?

    3. Good Ol Boy says:

      Someone please tell me how to identify a dead gay soldier from a dead straight soldier.

      I haven’t been able to do it. Do they die for their fellow soldier and sashay? Is that what you hate so much? Or is it because they were more brave than you are, and you just can’t freaking stand it….

  2. amanda says:

    I can’t fight IGNORANCE…. and that is all I read on you posting… PURE AND SIMPLE IGNORANCE

    1. Dave says:

      Godless immorality is not ignorance.

      1. Amanda says:

        Sure Dave, Sure… Go to church and talk about it there all you want to…. BUT IN CHURCH NOT IN HERE… IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE A RELIGIOUS PERSON GOOD FOR YOU…

      2. Good Ol Boy says:

        What exactly IS “godless immorality” Dave, and when were you granted the authority to decide for all of us?

      3. Good Ol Boy says:

        Was the soldier in this article godless and immoral, Dave?

        Don’t let the fact that this MAN DIED FOR YOU influence your answer.


  3. Victim Du Jour says:

    People have the right to religious freedom.

    Nothing is stopping the gay community from starting their own churches, community places and scouting clubs.

    It’s a shame they are spending so much energy and money suing everyone, and forcing people to accept them.

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      It’s a shame people like you care so much about oppressing them, that you make it your life’s work to sabotage their happiness to save yourself from…….

      Wait. What are you trying to save yourself from exactly?

  4. Newhaven says:

    Come on, people. Allow gay marriage, do you REALLY want the government in YOUR bedroom. It’s their private lives, keep it that way with dignity. The government really has other issues that are more important than to get into people’s private lives.

    1. Phid says:

      You’ve got this backwards. If you really want the government to stay out of their private lives, then the government really should not be “blessing” gay marriages by granting them special marriage rights.

      If gays want to associate with each other, then no one is stopping them. Just don’t force me and the rest of society to elevate their association to the level of heterosexual marriage.

      1. Good Ol Boy says:

        Phid, what would happen to your marriage if they did recognize it?

        Why do you care one way or another?

        What should be done with gays if being gay is what is wrong, not marrying a man if you’re a man? Please be specific.

  5. Cowboy says:

    “do you see two bulls out in the pasture trying to breed each other” No, but I’ve seen cows mount another cow many times.

  6. zac says:

    The Bible also says do not judge less thee be judged. Plus not every one in the united states believes in a God.

  7. Ron says:

    Let them get married, is it interfering in your life, I didn’t think so …It’s 2011

  8. Edward says:

    The fact is, same-sex relationships do occur between animals in nature. And another fact is, people’s sexuality is innate, they do not choose to be gay — or straight — they just “are” what God or nature made them. Anyone who would deny gay people equal rights to marriage or other rights that straights enjoy, is simply wrong. Thankfully, we have a governor in Mark Dayton who’s not willing to pander to the right wing crazies, as his predecessor Pawlenty did.

    1. Lower Middle Class man says:


      To say that sexuality is innate and not a choice, and that god made them that way is the same as saying that Murders are innate and god made them that way !!!!

      1. Amanda says:

        And that is true… Sociopaths is an illness, research a little more

        1. Lower Middle Class man says:

          Well then I guess they can’t be held responsible for their actions and we should just blame god since he created them that way!!!!

          1. Amanda says:

            And most of Sociopaths are sent to a mental institution…

      2. Good Ol Boy says:

        You cannot equate gays to murderers.

        That is not a legitimate argument.

  9. Amanda says:

    It is time to separate the church from the state… it is as simple as that…

    Now for all of those Hippocrates that call GAYS IMMORALS read this one and then make up your mind
    It is OK for Catholic priest to abuse little kids, we just have to look the other way and they get a little spanking and a talk on “never do that again” but really means, “never got caught again”
    It is ok for parents and step parents to abuse their own kids, and yeah they are straight couples and most of the times the Moms are aware of the abuse, they just play blind since they don’t want to lose their husbands.
    Another subject would be FORNICATION, it is a sin in THE BIBLE, but we all do it… according to the bible we only suppose to have sex to procreate, but we have sex every time we are horny. And pre-marriage sex is also a sin, but again we all do it.
    SO next time you would like to call names, start with your own, since by me marrying my girlfriend, you will not lose anything, not your house, or your spouse, nor your job… or your faith, we all choose on what to believe and not because my neighbor is a murderer I am going to think that is OK….

    Why do you want to be in my life… I am not in yours

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