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Love the signer, not the sign

by Jeremy Hooper

Lots of people are talking about this sign, the one that Washington state's anti-equality side is using against the APPROVE 71 campaign:

 Images Blogimages 2009 09 17 1253218831-Reject R-71-1

Some think it's stronger than our side's. Others think it's completely unfair, since the referendum is about domestic partnerships and not full marriage equality. As for us? We think it's a completely awful, unappealing piece of imagery, and we are THRILLED that the campaign chose to go this way.

For starters: The color scheme is just not pleasing. It's a hostile color positioned against a stark background. To us, the coloring and the font make the whole thing look like an 80's horror movie. As if the family in the silhouette is looking out across a corn field at the zombie pod people who are coming for their land. Who knows, maybe it's what they wanted (it might look nice come Halloween time). But it certainly doesn't have that same "nice, sweet" vibe that we're used to seeing from the "protect marriage" crowd.

Second: It's a little confusing. This campaign is already a little askew, since we on the pro-equality side are seeking an APPROVE vote rather than the "no" to which we have become accustomed. So both sides have to do work to ensure that their troops know which way to lean. And to us, this sign's messaging is unclear. Are we rejecting the conservative talking point that marriage = one man, one woman? Are we rejecting gays? Are we rejecting the zombie pod people? Who the hell knows?

And finally: There is nothing uplifting. Their side knows and even admits that casting this thing as a negative is detrimental to their side. But that's exactly what this sign does. From the positioning and presentation of the word "reject", to the simplistic line that is only relatable to those who have bought into the "pro-family" code wording: There is nothing onto which a moderate fence-sitter would ever choose to grasp. Even the family, all shadowy and oddly outlined, doesn't look all that wholesome. In a fight where they are already asking voters to reject a passed law, we're frankly kinda shocked that they'd make these choices.

Now this -- this is a good, eye-pleasing sign:


It's thoroughly Washington, with its deep greens. It's positive, with its simple message of preservation. And even the check mark is much more peaceful than the other side's hostile X. Here's just hoping that Washington voters will see it the same way.

Hmm...wonder if zombie pod people can vote?

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Your thoughts

their ad looks like it reads as "Reject Marriage=Man and Woman." It also kind of reminds me those "children at play" signs. "Straight People Crossing" maybe?
and you are right about them resembling zombies. this sign makes me kind of frightened. like it was constructed by Eli Roth or George Romero.

Posted by: Mrs. M | Sep 18, 2009 4:08:47 PM

I just stained my mom's back deck the same green as the background on the approve 71 sign. It's a pretty earthy, healthy color - she wanted to use brown, but I convinced her that she has no taste when it comes to deck colors, and now she is much happier with the avocado green.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 18, 2009 5:01:54 PM

Right on, Mrs. M, the sign is confusing for anyone who isn't familiar with Prop 71. And those who know Prop 71 realize it has nothing to do with marriage. It's misleading to imply it does.

Posted by: Bill Ware | Sep 18, 2009 5:06:18 PM

That thing isn't even about marriage and these assholes still don't want gay couples to get any rights whatsoever?

Fuck the electoral process. If you want rights, go directly to the courts; AND DON'T LET THE AVERAGE JOE DECIDE THAT FOR YOU!

Posted by: ---- | Sep 18, 2009 6:05:42 PM

I believe the actual yard sign contains the phrase "Protect our Children" in that upper left blank white space.

Posted by: Jon | Sep 18, 2009 6:51:56 PM

The pro-equality side's sign is "thoroughly western Washington". If they used the colors from my side of the state it would be dirt brown and ... well, dirt brown. xD

I just hate that this is all happening so close to my sister's ceremony, they shouldn't have to think about losing what rights they CAN get, even with the horrid DOMA law in this state.

Posted by: therealistmom | Sep 18, 2009 9:53:08 PM

Oh man that's a terrible sign. Goes to show uptight straight people have no eye for composition. Looks like a license plate, and that dangling 'J' descender doesn't even fit. Good thing someone's clicking on the close box at the top left.

Posted by: marsmannetje | Sep 19, 2009 10:30:57 AM

It's just way better, being on the APPROVE side. Their's really is hideous.

We heard of the polls in Maine. What do the Wash ones look like?

Posted by: LOrion | Sep 19, 2009 11:59:57 AM

It's just way better, being on the APPROVE side. Their's really is hideous.

We heard of the polls in Maine. What do the Wash ones look like?

Posted by: LOrion | Sep 19, 2009 11:59:57 AM

@LOrion: We should have some better polling numbers soon, but the most recent have support in our favor by about 12-14 points. . .pretty old data. No laurel sitting(an off year, all mail in voting). The craptastic opposition media hasn't kicked in yet either . . .expecting the worst.

Posted by: Jon | Sep 19, 2009 6:52:59 PM

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