A preacher, a teacher, a soldier's parents, a GOP leader: Allies in marriage votes

Story highlights

  • A diverse coalition joined forces to bring historic change on same-sex marriage
  • Minnesota parents of a fallen soldier who was gay worried his death would be in vain
  • Republican in Maine feared backlash but broke with party line anyway
  • A preacher in Maryland spoke up to counter media dominance of right-wing pastors
After their son was killed in battle in Afghanistan, Lori and Jeff Wilfahrt crisscrossed their home state of Minnesota. They spoke at churches, schools, book clubs. They spoke of Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt's love of country and the Constitution.
They spoke, too, of grief. They are a mother and father who utterly miss their son, a soldier who was openly gay.
On Tuesday, November 6, the Wilfahrts entered their polling station in Rosemount to vote against a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and woman. Both parents wondered: Had their boy died protecting homophobes who would deny him rights back home?
In Frederick, Maryland, the Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel had lived with guilt for nearly 25 years. A fellow preacher who was gay had asked her to officiate his wedding with his partner. She told him no.
"Why did I do that?" she has asked herself ever since.