Saturday, July 02, 2011

CNN: Soldier leaves legacy much larger than 'he was gay'

There is an excellent, but gut-wrenching article over on CNN's website right now about Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrthis death in Kandahar at the age of 31, his terrific relationship (as an openly gay soldier) with his fellow comrades (they loved and deeply respected him for the intelligent, committed, and brave soldier he was), and his parents' dogged determination to fight for marriage equality in their son's memory. And sadly, it is a battle they will be forced to fight in their own backyard now that the Minnesota state legislature, four months after their son's death, "voted, largely along party lines, to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot for November 2012 to define marriage as solely between a man and woman."

In a state that has produced GOP presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty -- who have made careers fighting gay marriage -- these parents of an American hero present a major challenge to the establishment.
They'll take their battle to the Supreme Court, if that's what it takes. To the Wilfahrts, denying gays the right to marry is discrimination against a group to which their son belonged.
The article is just too good to do it justice with excerpts. You really must go read it in its entirety. Just make sure you have a box of tissue nearby, it is impossible to read without a good cry going on simultaneously.

Thank you, Jeff and Lori, for fighting this fight. I cannot begin to imagine the strength it must take just to get out of bed each day and face the loss you have experienced, yet you do it. I know I am not alone in feeling deep gratitude to you both for what you are doing.   

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