No on 8

Today was an interesting day.  Doug had an eye appointment at 10 am and I told him I would meet him there.  On my way, to my shock, was a group of Yes on 8 protesters.  I had a couple of good conversations with those people and many of them seemed like nice people.  We were able to discuss our differences.  I was disappointed with some of the signs they were carrying.  One had Prop. 8=Parental Rights.  Another one had Prop. 8=Free Speech.  To the free speech woman I asked if she thought her free speech was going to be taken away when Prop. 8 is defeated and all she had to say was that she was out there because of her religious belief. I have a feeling she never read the ballot proposal.   

Anyway, I met Doug and told him that I was going to make a sign and stand on that very same corner.  I couldn’t allow them to take over that corner without some sign of opposition.  So we went into Long’s Drugs, bought some posterboard and a thick marker and went into the neighboring Safeway to create the signs.  While we were there a woman stopped by and told us she had some No on 8 signs in her car.  So I went out with her and grabbed them and then taped them to our homemade signs.  When we got out there there was one guy on Non on 8 with about 25 Yes on 8.  Doug and I stood on separate corners with our signs.  After a couple of hours there were about 10 of us. 

One group that was Yes on 8 was a group of Samoan-Americans from a church in Palo Alto (south of here).  A nice guy stood by me and talked about the usual religious things (Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve) but when I asked him to tell me what the wording of Prop. 8 was, he didn’t know.  His pastor stopped by and handed out pop sickles and gave me one as well (it was a hot, sunny day here).  One sad thing was that a large number of kids were brought by the Yes on 8 people.  Some were as young as 4.  But one woman was really getting  her kids into the act.  There were two girls in particular that I probably won’t forget.  One was about 8.  The other about 12.  Both of them were screaming Yes on 8 and that God made man and woman.  Unfortunately they just mimicked their mom, including the sour face she was making.  I hope they grow up to be decent adults instead of just following their mother’s mistaken ideas.

So we stood out there from 11 am until about 3:30.  The Yes on 8 people left about 2:30 and a small group of us decided to stay.  It was a good experience. Lots of people honked and waved and there really wasn’t any bad experience.  There were only two bad experiences.  One was when one of the young (but at least voting age) said that she didn’t want gays walking around her neighborhood.  I reminded her a bit of her own history (she was Latino) and the history of California.  The other was when a Yes on 8 person asked a guy who was walking by if he was going to vote Yes on 8.  He said he would if he could (he apparently just moved to California) and said he didn’t like ‘fags and lesbians.’  I guess he didn’t realize that a ‘fag’ was standing right by him holding a NO on 8 poster.  And sadly enough, that woman did not correct him. 

But it was a good day to protest.  I kept telling people that to vote Yes on 8 means that you are voting to take away the rights of a group they disagreed with.  That is really what Prop. 8 is about.  I kept telling people that that is not a good thing for a democracy–when a majority votes to take away a right ALREADY given.  We’ll see how Prop. 8 turns out.  And we aren’t going to pack away our signs either.  I have a feeling these same people will be out tomorrow after they finish with church and learn all about the love of Jesus for all people…

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