Letter: Vote to treat all with equal respectI grew up in Red Wing, joined the Marine Corps in 1980 to serve my country and fundamentally defend our freedoms from, as we swear in our oath of office, “enemies both foreign and domestic.”
By: Joe and Jan (Haaland) Polach, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
I grew up in Red Wing, joined the Marine Corps in 1980 to serve my country and fundamentally defend our freedoms from, as we swear in our oath of office, “enemies both foreign and domestic.”
In 2000 I retired from the Marines as a lieutenant colonel, as did my husband, Joe. We met in the Marine Corps as second lieutenants, married soon after our basic training, and celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this past June. Our marriage is at the center of our lives, as it is with most who enjoy this privilege.
Equal rights and access for women, people of color, and those who want to exercise their own voice are all freedoms we defended proudly in our years of service. We are saddened and disappointed that some in our state feel the need to take away some of these fundamental freedoms.
Now, we continue to stand up for our freedoms through Veterans United - a coalition of veterans opposed to the hurtful and divisive marriage amendment. Like the hundreds of veterans who have joined this coalition to spread the message of voting “no,” we believe that this amendment removes and restricts our freedoms rather than enhancing them: the freedom to love, the freedom for churches to decide for themselves whether or not they will bless marriages with same-sex partners, the freedom for future generations of Minnesotans to have their say on this important issue.
As with most Americans, we have friends who are gay and straight and most enter into loving relationships with a significant other. We are standing up for the freedoms of gay and lesbian couples who want to marry for the same reasons Joe and I got married 30 years ago: love, commitment, and responsibility.
In this month before the election, we need to work together to protect our freedoms. If you are a veteran, you can continue to serve your state and neighbors by joining the coalition of Veterans United at mnunited.org/veterans. For all Minnesotans, please stand up for your neighbors and friends by treating with them respect and dignity – vote “no” on the marriage amendment.
Joe and Jan (Haaland) Polach
St. Louis Park, Minn.