Can I still be proud to be a Minnesotan Nov. 7?

I have been fortunate in my career to travel around the world. I travel so much that often I feel a sense of missing my home in Stillwater. No matter where my career takes me, I long for the St. Croix River valley and home. I am proud to be from the great state of Minnesota and even prouder to be from my community.

After just returning home recently from working on a project in Italy and Germany all summer, I was greeted by the nasty political fight over the proposed marriage amendment. I was more shocked in fact, that Minnesotans were considering putting this hateful language in our state constitution. While some folks might not consider Minnesota to the forefront of diversity, I beg to differ. Living in Minnesota I have gained lifelong friends from every religious, ethnic and political background. I often boast on my travels how welcoming we are as a state and in our communities.

I guess my point is this: This amendment does nothing but tarnish the name of our state and communities. It tells our children that they must fit in some kind of mold in order to be accepted, and it hurts already existing families in Minnesota who struggle to assimilate into their communities.

My dream is to wake up on Nov. 7 and still be proud to call myself a Minnesotan; a community that is tolerant of the differences in others, helpful to their neighbors, and fosters an unbreakable sense of community regardless of who the individuals in that community love. I am voting no because it is the Minnesotan thing to do. We have never been guided by fear, but rather by our hearts. I urge my neighbors and friends to stand with me and do the same.


Joey S. Begovich