Scott and I headed up to Lynnwood yesterday, to buy some more Halloween decorations (Scott has a problem) and to go to Alderwood Mall to find a few new clothes for me. Luckily, Scott has worked in Lynnwood for many years (although he just transferred to Northgate), so he could navigate us around easily - I get lost when I get out of the city. What we didn't expect was to come across hundreds of protesters rallying against Referendum 71 - which is on the ballot for next month's election to uphold Washington State's domestic partnership law, which grants state rights to same-sex couples and domestic partners over the age of 62.
We were enraged. Yes, everyone has the right to hold and voice their opinions - but this was unreal. Apparrently this group came from a Russian Baptist church in Eastern Washington, and has been very vocal in their opposition of granting us and other same-sex couples any rights whatsoever.
What really appalled me was the number of high-school-aged (and younger) kids who were out there holding signs. Yes, we learn values from our parents and families (most of us), but I don't truly believe that these kids honestly know what they're protesting against other than "people who aren't like us". That's what they are learning from this. It's okay to oppress people who you don't know anything about other than that you've been told they are not like you, and therefore not as good as you (or not good at all).
I know, I know ... I'm preaching to the choir, so why even bother?
Because in the off chance that one of those people who were carrying these signs reads - actually reads - this post, maybe they'll think about this.
Please, those of you who are against these basic civil rights for us - come to my neighborhood. Meet out neighbors. The straight, child-rearing, working and tax-paying and voting neighbors of ours. Ask them of the destruction we have wrought on our neighborhood and their families and their children. Ask them why they allow their children to trick-or-treat at our house. Ask them why they knock on our door when their kids want to see our pets, and actually let them come inside. Ask them why they let us go camping with them and let their kids see us holding hands. Ask them why they bring cans of chicken soup to our house when we have a cold. Ask them why they offer to let us borrow their mixer when ours died and we're trying to make banana bread. Ask them why they ask us to house-sit and cat-sit and bring in their recycling bins when they go on vacation, why they invite us to dinner and parties and why they stop by and talk to us out in the yard, in full view of the world, and laugh with us and wave as they drive by.
And then, look in the mirror and take a good, hard look. And wonder if your god sees them as less than you because they love and accept and yes, sometimes actually TOUCH us.