When Mark Themig passed by the Halla nursery and saw a “Vote Yes for Marriage” sign up, he stopped to take a picture. He wanted to be sure to document Halla’s political leanings and post them on facebook. And though the store was closed, Themig did end up getting into what he called “a pretty emotional discussion about the sign,” with the owner’s sister.
Forty-five minutes later a deputy from the Sheriff’s office paid him a visit and accused him of harassment and defamation.
How did the discussion escalate so quickly? According to Mark Anfinson, attorney for the Minnesota Newspaper Association, Thermig didn’t overstep any legal bounds by posting the picture on facebook. Whether what he said to Halla’s sister could qualify as harassment is a trickier question, and one that would be too difficult and time-consuming to deserve an answer. In any case, owner Mark Halla didn’t seem too worked up. Referring back to his Christian values he said, “I wouldn’t press charges. I try to respond in love.”