Thursday, August 30, 2012

If I may.

Please allow me to digress from the usual content of this blog for a moment.  This is not a political blog.  I've never stated publicly anywhere who I chose to vote for political office, nor do I intend to.  An issue has come up in Minnesota that I have decided I cannot stay quiet about, the proposed constitutional amendment to gay marriage.  Starting today, and until the election, these signs will hang in the windows of my shop.  

This decision is not one that I have come to without serious personal reflection.  Weighing in in any political debate as a business carries risk no matter what you are advocating for.  I have no doubt that this will upset some of our customers.  I fully expect that this will lose us some of them.  If I offend some of you I am sorry for it.

I do this for the love of my family and friends who are gay, because they deserve the right to share exactly the same relationship that I cherish with my wife.  

Thank you for your consideration.  


Anonymous said...

I don't live in your area - but seeing this sign would make me a customer. Perhaps I'll ride my Fargo out there for some set up tips.

Ben Witt said...

Thank you.

Exhausted_Auk said...

Ben, Good for you! I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly.

Doug said...


I admire your courage!

I don't live near your town, but I may need to spend some of my bicyle funds at your shop.

Doug/Duluth, MN

Jeremy Kershaw said...

Hear, Hear! Bravo! Thanks for taking a stand!

Guitar Ted said...

Ben- Kudos to you for standing up for what you believe in.

Ben said...

Very Awesome! Have the t-shirt!

Joboo said...

why are you apologizing??
It's your business right?
We live in the U.S.A. still, right??
You are entitled to your opinion just as much as the guy down the block hanging the opposite sign in his window!!
Hey, I don't believe as you believe, and guess what, that's ok; because that's what makes this country great!!

I don't think you'll lose as many customers as you think!!
even though I don't share your beliefs, I respect them, they are yours!!
Bottom line Ben, you give great advice, run a top-notch business, sell quality crap ;) and are a good person!

Anonymous said...


Ben only stands to gain customers from this.

The fact this is even up for discussion is pathetically tragic.

reverend dick said...


Anonymous said...


Thanks for stating your position on this important topic. I too have a "Vote No" sign in my front yard. In daily shopping I frequent businesses whose owners are on both sides of this issue. Being able to converse about differences is healthy and has made possible sea changes in such past controversies like civil rights and Viet Nam.

I would like to reiterate what Joboo said so well, "Bottom line Ben, you give great advice, run a top-notch business, sell quality crap ;) and are a good person!"

Eric in Northfield

Headly said...

Way to go Ben! Saw the signs yesterday and they made me even more proud of you. The only ones who should apologize are those who are politicizing a basic human right for the selfish hopes of increasing their fundraising and voter turnout. They are unworthy to lead and, truly, should be ashamed.

corey olson said...

I value your opinion and that of your staff. Theirs nothing wrong with speaking your mind. Also, why deny anyone the dizzying highs and the horrible lows and the creamy middles of marriage. I will always be a customer at your bike shop.

Griff Wigley said...

Props to you, Ben. I've let your fellow Northfielders know about this blog post here.

Vito said...

I am with you 100% Ben. Very admirable:)

Christopher Tassava said...

Yes, kudos. I'd be your customer whether you had this, the opposite, or no opinion on this issue, but I appreciate your taking time to both think about taking a stance and taking this one.

I trust you'll come out as strongly for the Sunday beer sale law!

Anonymous said...

Ben, as someone who follows your blog from miles away, it really seems like you've built a lifestyle as much as a business or bike shop. I'd like to think that regardless of ones opinion on the subject, people will liken the situation to debating a good friend over a beer. You can disagree, but at the end of the day you're still friends. Best of luck.

John Mahan said...

My observation is that those folks most loudly & aggressively demanding that the government restrict who can get married also say they want the government to stay out of our lives - 'till they want lifestyles they don't agree with the government.

Your principled stand & willingness to take risks based on it is admirable.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope that for every customer this sign loses, you'll gain a crowd of customers. It's unbelievable that anyone can have a differing opinion - it's not about religion or politics, it's about being a decent human being.