Jeff and Lori Wilfhart
Gay Soldier Killed In Combat Helped Marriage Fight

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com May 28 2013 2:31 PM ET

The parents of Minnesota's first known openly gar soldier to die in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan said campaigning for marriage equality in their home state has helped them deal with the death of their son.

The Wilfahrts spent Memorial Day reflecting on the death of their son Andrew, a 31-year-old Corporal who was killed while serving in Afghanistan in February 2011. This was the first Memorial Day since Minnesota established legal marriage equality, a right that their son will not be able to enjoy.

"We were talking about the other kids in the family getting married and he said, 'I'll never be able to get married,'" his mother Lori Wilfhart said to KARE News. "So that was 10 years ago. And today, he could."

The Wilfharts campaigned on Andrew's behalf to legalize marriage equality in Minnesota, which was approved earlier this month, and will go into effect August 1.

"If his taxes were good enough, if his blood was good enough, were his rights good enough and I think that's a question that has now been answered," Jeff Wilfahrt said.