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Editorial: Honoring Andrew's memory

It's hard to reconcile the story of Andrew Wilfahrt with Minnesota's pending vote on a constitutional amendment to define marriage.

Minnesota residents will vote in a little more than a year on a constitutional amendment that, if approved, would more than ever put restrictions on the ways two individuals can express their commitment to each other.

Wilfahrt, a Rosemount High School graduate , was killed earlier this year while serving as a Military Police officer in Afghanistan. By most modern definitions, that makes Wilfahrt a hero, but had he survived his service, that constitutional amendment, if it passes, would take away some of the freedoms people like to say our military personnel are fighting for.

Wilfahrt was gay, though most who knew him would say that's the least interesting thing about him. Friends and family weren't sure what he was doing when he decided to enlist, knowing full well he would have to hide who he was, at least to some degree.

The constitutional amendment would redefine marriage as between a man and a woman. Writing that language into the state's constitution wouldn't change existing law - the state does not currently recognize same-sex marriages - but it would make it harder to redefine marriage in the future, should some future legislature decide to make a change.

Since their son's death, Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt have fought in his name against the proposed constitutional amendment. They have spoken at the legislature in an attempt to keep it off the ballot. They have attended rallies. And, in their most recent effort, they have launched a group called Andrew's Roundtable to build opposition to the amendment among the heterosexual population.

We are encouraged by their effort. We hope it gains traction around Rosemount and around the state. It's the least Rosemount can do for Andrew.