Frequent commenter Larry shared this story with me via email and I felt it should really be passed along. If you get a chance to read the whole thing, you can see some of the core problems with people who are against gay marriage. It has much less to do with their faith than they think. It’s more about ignorance and fear of the unknown:
We live in Simi Valley, CA… and are paying very close attention to Proposition 8 out here. Prop 8 is forwarded by religious groups and it seeks to place a ban on gay marriage in California, where it is currently legal.
I am married and have 4 kids… one of whom is serving in the Navy now (yes, he is an atheist in a foxhole, so to speak). My kids living at home are 15,16 and 18. Just fyi to set this up.
So this weekend, my wife and all three of my kids had decided to make signs against Prop 8 and go stand on the corner of a busy intersection where a lot of demonstrating, both pro and con, has been taking place. My youngest is 15… and he is very well aware of the proposition. He understands what it is about and on his own can express reasons why he is against it, as can my older children. You see, their grandmother, my mother-in-law, is a lesbian and has lived with a woman since before they were born. Even back when I was a fundy, I had a different view of homosexuality because of this. My kids have grown up quite comfortable around homosexuality and none of them have been infected with ‘gayness’…
The intersection has become quite a spectacle, attracting local news vans, etc… as both sides try to out-demonstrate each other. Each weekend the same scene has played out. Early in the morning, a dozen or so middle aged or older people with small children in tow show up trying to support Prop 8 with their church printed signs. By about mid-day the sides are even, though the anti-8 side has large colorful home made posters, and very loud late teens and early twenties protesting. By about 3 PM, there are about 3 or 4 dozen people against 8, usually including a cross dresser or two…and there is one or two pro-8 people left there screaming and yelling.
My wife went with my kids just to be with them as the protested. My kids, like so many young people, are quite captivated by the entire election and all it entails. I love it… I love young people paying attention and using their own brains to think through all of this. It is a very healthy sign for a future, no matter how bad things look now. But, I could not get in the way of their obvious passion for the issue. So off they went.
While there, I have to state, my wife and kids got called some of the most terrible names you can imagine. People would walk up and get in their face and just become vulgar and abusive. My family’s strategy was to either just smile or laugh at them. My 18 yr old daughter began asking them what church they go to when they would say something particularly abusive, and they would get flustered and stomp away while she laughed at them. But, my wife’s report is that she has never seen Christians (very loudly telling everyone they were Christian and that everyone else was going to hell!) behaving so badly. So bad that they felt they have to say derogatory things to the kids and others who were holding signs. One guy in particular told my wife she was going to hell for raising a bunch of “faggots.” When she pointed out that none of her kids were gay… he asked what she was doing out there? She told him they simply cared about their fellow Americans having their rights trampled on by intolerant Christians. He shut up and went away. It seems that when they get nastiest, reminding them about their Christianity had an impact.
So, a guy came walking by with a very religious Yes-on-8 sign and he had two very small girls in tow, each holding Yes-on-8 signs. My wife guessed they were ages 6 and 8… roughly. The dad was shouting some pretty nasty stuff as he wallked by my family… but all was ok. Suddenly these two teenage boys came up and ripped the signs his little girls were carrying out of their hands and ripped them up… then ran off. The man was obviously upset and began yelling obscenities at everyone before calling the police.
The police came and went… afterwards, my wife tore one of her signs in half and using the back and some markers she had, made two small ‘Yes on 8″ signs and took them over to the little girls, who the man still had out there, even though my wife reports they were absolutely terrified when it happened. She felt so bad for them even being out there. She gave them their signs and she said they were happy and thanked her. The man then came over and got in my wife’s face about the whole thing, blaming her for the signs being ripped in the first place. (no one in my family knew or was with the two boys who did it… in fact they were not even protesting, they were just walking by). He then began grabbing my kids signs and ripping them up and screaming at them. They said he looked like he would explode. This after my wife tried to make things better for his poor little girls who had no business being out there at that age anyway. My wife does not judge people based on their views… she still wanted to help the little girls feel better, and thought the boys who did what they did were very wrong to do so.
He ranted at them using terrible language, but all the while telling them god hated them and they would be sent to hell… while his two little girls watched. He launched into a tirade about homosexuality, using lots of choice and colorful language to describe what two men would do together. He ranted and ranted… again… all while his little girls watched. And listened.
The television ads being run by the Yes-on-8 side seems to focus on one (bogus) point, and that is that schools will now teach gay marriage to their kids. This particular man kept telling my wife that he does “not want schools teaching my girls about faggot marriage” he kept saying to her. All the while, there are his girls, ages 6 and 8, holding signs about an issue they cannot possibly understand, and hearing far more about homosexuality from their own father than they would ever have from any school. So, since then I have watched… and sure enough, in every group of Yes-on-8 protestors and sign holders, there is a family or two with young kids. I suppose they think that it shows that people with family values support the issue… but in reality it shows people who obviously have no problem exposing their kids to the issue, so long as their kids land on the right side… which is the intolerant and hateful side.
If you need more reason to vote against Proposition (h)8, watch this (anti-gay-marriage) video below:
Now, watch this “revised” version of the same video:
If you’re in California, here’s hoping you’re voting No to Proposition 8.
Or else, you could vote with what seems to be the “Christian” side.
I wouldn’t do that if I had the choice.
I prefer the side that supports equality and love.
Apparently, we can’t rely on churches to lead the way in this battle.
(Thanks to Marla for the videos!)