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Lip service is fine, but it's gonna take sweat to win this thing

by Jeremy Hooper

A reader has written us with this very true, very important point for all of us to remember:

On Monday, October 20, three "Yes on 8" marched on the sidewalk in front of my partner's public elementary school here in southern California at the end of the school day, as parents were picking up students. They held signs that said, "Yes on 8 Equals Parental Rights" and slowly walked up and down the sidewalk, not making eye contact with or talking to anyone.

As shocking as this was, the most disturbing thing was yet to come.

Three of my partner's fellow teachers rushed into his room, saying things like, "
Can you believe these people?" and "How dare they do this!" My partner responded, "Well, if you want to fight back against discrimination and bigotry, I've got yard signs and bumper stickers in my truck that you can take home right now."

None of the three teachers took a sign or a sticker; all three conveniently found an excuse to not take a stand. This hit my partner like a blow to the gut. These were not mere work acquaintances; there were people that he has worked with for several years, people who have invited us to parties at their homes as partners, treating us no differently than any other couple.

The lesson here is just because you have friends who know you are gay or lesbian and welcome you into their lives, just because your friends welcome both you and your partner into their homes, just because they keep asking when you're going to get married, there is no guarantee that they will vote NO on Prop. 8 or any other of the marriage initiatives
UNLESS you talk to them and convince them that it is the right thing to do.

Very true. As one touched by "the gay," you have two options: (1) To not have any friends. (2) To do all you can do to ensure that those friends are on board with the "radical" idea that your humanity is as valuable as their own. We'll let you do your own self-assessment to determine which social option is most conducive to your life.

Meanwhile, thanks for sharing this story/reminder, T. When Prop 8 bites the big one and you boys' hold your lavish wedding soiree, be sure to set these folks next to the restroom.

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Your thoughts

Wow, the same thing happened to me yesterday! After a meeting, a coworker told me he was totally "on my side", but he wasn't going to vote at all, because a) his vote was only one vote and wasn't going to make any statistical difference, and b) given that his vote wasn't going to make any difference, he rationalized that it wasn't worth taking 30-minutes out of his life to cast a vote for anything, including Prop 8. As one could imagine, our conversation from that point on was heated, and despite telling him that his non-vote was going to make someone else's 'yes' vote count, whereas otherwise it would have been canceled by his, and thus he'd actually be helping the 'yes' side by staying home to vote, he was unmoved. It is particularly galling to me, since I am a Canadian citizen, and CANNOT vote, so getting out the 'No' vote is all I've been trying to do since my wedding last month.

This incident has given me renewed vigor, however, and I have redoubled my efforts to get those closest to me out to vote, not taking anything for granted.

Posted by: Chris | Oct 22, 2008 6:29:18 PM

This really hit home for me - I recently asked my roommate and friend if he was going to vote no on 8 - and he said he no because he believes marriage is one man and one woman(he's an evangelical) both me and his girlfriend were left dumbfounded - he's known for over 2 years, we've lived together for about 6 months now.

He’s admitted to me that our friendship alone has shattered many of the stereotypes he’s had about gay people yet he still feels I shouldn’t be allowed to marry due to some narrow definition of the word marriage. I’m still kinda in a state of shock (well sorta) but I do plan to bring the subject up with him again.

Posted by: Alonzo | Oct 22, 2008 7:04:18 PM

Yes, there are several people in my own life who I've just assumed were with me 100% on my issues, only to find out otherwise. And it can also be intensely frustrated the way others will present them to you, as if they are simply voicing an alternate opinion on a political matter. Sometimes folks don't realize how deeply personally these issues are for us.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 22, 2008 7:29:27 PM

the Yes on 8 people are truly getting desperate when it comes to their utter lies about what No on Prop 8 would cover. It's too bad that jimmy dobdork and his little gulag have managed to lure people in, hook, line and sinker.

At a local community college, a bunch of slavic "Christian" students managed to pack the student association board to say that the school supports Prop 8. Yesterday and today, they are facing a recall and I hope all of them are booted. This is an "open enrollment" college, which means anyone can go there, and one of them has had the balls to interrupt a private same-sex wedding ceremony nearby, running through and screaming 'this is not a marriage" at the top of his little used-car-dealer-leather lungs. This has GOT to stop.

Posted by: Gretchen | Oct 22, 2008 11:12:53 PM

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